A 44-year-old American woman was killed in New Providence, Bahamas, after she was attacked by a shark while paddleboarding in waters near the Sandals Royal Bahamian resort on Monday, local authorities said.
The unnamed woman from Boston, Mass., was paddleboarding away from the shoreline with a male relative when she was bitten by a shark around 11:15 a.m. local time, according to the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
During a press conference on Monday, police officials said the woman was about three-quarters of a mile (nearly 1.2 kilometres) from shore when she was attacked.
A lifeguard employed by the Sandals resort witnessed the incident and entered a rescue boat to retrieve the two paddleboarders. The lifeguard performed CPR on the victim but attempts to resuscitate were unsuccessful.
Police said the woman suffered “significant trauma to the right side of her body.” After being examined by medical personnel, the woman was pronounced dead.
Local Boston news outlet WCVB reported that witnesses at the scene said the victim got married on Sunday and was vacationing at the resort with family.
It is not clear what kind of shark attacked the woman. An investigation is ongoing.
In a statement, Sandals Resorts said it was “deeply saddened” by news of the woman’s death.
“We wish to express our heartfelt condolences to the guest’s family and loved ones. We remain in close contact with them and are providing all support possible during this difficult time,” the statement reads.
Shark attacks, especially ones that are fatal, are uncommon but not unheard of.
On Saturday, a woman in Mexico was found dead after an apparent shark attack in Melaque Bay. The 26-year-old victim was not named, but one of her legs had allegedly been severed.
In 2022, there were only five fatal shark attacks globally, according to the International Shark Attack File.
The international total of unprovoked shark bites was “significantly lower” than average last year, with 57 confirmed attacks. Forty-one of these attacks occurred in the U.S.
The authority claimed there were 32 separate “provoked” shark bite incidents in 2022, meaning a human had initiated an interaction with a shark before being attacked.