Russian man killed in shark attack off Egypt’s Red Sea resort

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Coastline to remain off limits with a ban on swimming, snorkelling and other water sports activities until Sunday.

A Russian man has died after being attacked by a shark off the coast of Egypt’s Red Sea resort city of Hurghada, officials have said. The Environment Ministry said that the man was killed after being mauled by a tiger shark in the waters near Hurghada on Thursday. The authorities closed off a 74-kilometre (46-mile) stretch of the coastline and announced that it will remain off limits with a ban on swimming, snorkelling and other water sports activities until Sunday. “An attack by a tiger shark on a beachgoer … led to his death,” the ministry posted on Facebook, without providing further details. A video circulating online, purportedly of the attack, shows a man thrashing about in the water before being repeatedly attacked by a shark circling around him, and then being dragged under.

The ministry later said it had caught the shark and was examining it in a laboratory to try and determine the reasons for the rare attack. The Russian Consulate in Hurghada identified the man as a Russian citizen but did not give his name. Russian Consul-General Viktor Voropayev told state-owned TASS news agency that the Egyptian authorities had confirmed to him the death of the Russian national who was born in 1999. “The victim was not a tourist, but a permanent resident of Egypt,” Voropayev told the news agency. A diver who arrived on the scene just after the attack said people had rushed to help the victim after a lifeguard from a nearby hotel raised the alarm, but were not able to reach him in time.

History of shark attacks

Egypt’s Red Sea resorts, including Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh, boast some of the country’s most renowned beach destinations and are popular with European tourists. Divers are attracted by the steep drop-offs of coral reefs just offshore, which offer a rich and colorful sea life. Shark attacks are rare in the Red Sea coastal regions. However, in 2022, there were two fatal attacks in Hurghada within days, killing an Austrian and a Romanian tourist. In 2018, a Czech tourist was killed by a shark off a Red Sea beach. A German tourist was similarly killed in 2015. In 2010, a spate of five attacks in five days unusually close to the shore of tourist hot spot Sharm el-Sheikh killed one German and injured four other foreign tourists.