Cairo – Two women were killed in shark attacks in Egypt’s Red Sea, south of the city of Hurghada, the Egyptian Ministry of Environment said on Sunday.
Two sources said the body of a Romanian tourist in her late forties was discovered hours after an attack that left a 68-year-old Austrian woman dead.
Both attacks happened within 600m of each other, off the coast of Sahl Hasheesh.
“We offer our sincerest condolences to the families of the two victims,” said Egyptian Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad on Sunday.
“As soon as we received a report that two women were attacked by a shark while practising surface swimming in the area facing Sahl Hasheesh resort, south of Hurghada, a working group was formed from specialists in the Red Sea reserves and the Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association.”
The Environment Minister instructed the scientific committee formed to examine the situation to collect information from all sources and analyse them in accordance with the protocols used globally in investigating shark attacks on humans.
Although the nationalities of the victims and the timing of the accident were not mentioned, a video was circulated on Friday, showing a woman struggling to swim back to shore after being attacked by a shark in Sahl Hasheesh resort near Hurghada.
It mentioned that the Governor of the Red Sea Governorate, Major General Amr Hanafi, has issued an order to suspend all activity in the area surrounding the attacks.
The first victim was transferred to a local private hospital, a source at the Red Sea Health Affairs Directorate said. There were attempts to resuscitate her, but she died from her injuries.
A security source said the Austrian woman had been living in Egypt over the past five years with her Egyptian husband.