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Shark attack kills US cruise ship passenger in Bahamas

A US cruise ship passenger was killed by a shark while snorkeling near the Bahamas on Tuesday, according to local authorities.

The 58-year-old woman from Pennsylvania was on an excursion near Green Cay near Nassau when the incident took place.

Police later said that the family identified the shark as a bull shark. A similar incident in the area took the life of a 21-year-old American in 2019.

Despite gripping public attention, shark attacks are exceedingly rare.

Bahamian police spokeswoman Chrislyn Skippings told reporters that the woman was on an excursion with a local tour company, which took her to the popular snorkelling area.

Family members and tour company staff saw her being attacked and managed to pull her from the water. A local news outlet, Eyewitness News, quoted Ms Skippings as saying that the victim suffered wounds to her “upper extremities”.

The victim was declared dead by authorities after being taken to shore.

Her cruise ship, the Harmony of the Seas, was docked in Nassau at the time of the attack. It had just begun its seven day cruise of the western Caribbean from Port Canaveral in Florida on 4 September.

Cruise operator Royal Caribbean International said in a statement that they are “providing support and assistance to the guest’s loved ones during this difficult time.”

The incident is the first fatal shark attack in the Bahamas since 2019, when a 21-year-old woman from California was attacked by sharks near Rose Island, about half a mile (0.8km) away from Tuesday’s attack.

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