Thursday 14 November 2019

Woman has both arms ripped off by a shark

Her family, including her six-year-old son, are believed to have been nearby during the incident. (David Cheskin/PA)
Her family, including her six-year-old son, are believed to have been nearby during the incident. (David Cheskin/PA)

Vincent Wood

A woman has had both her arms bitten off by a shark in a horrific attack off the coast of French Polynesia.

The woman (35), a French tourist, is reported to have encountered an oceanic whitetip shark off the coast of Mo'orea, north-west of Tahiti on Monday.

In a statement local government officials said the incident took place "while a group of people were on a whale watching trip" in a lagoon near the pacific island.

The woman was attacked while snorkelling in the nearby waters, with local media reporting both of her arms had been torn off as well as part of her chest. Her family, including her six-year-old son, are believed to have been nearby during the incident.

She was quickly taken to a nearby hotel where she received medical treatment before being airlifted to Taaone Hospital on Tahiti.

A witness told local media she was conscious as she arrived on the shore, asking: "Why did you take me there if it was not safe?"

Shark attacks in the region are rare, with only six confirmed cases in the French province since 1580, according to the Florida Museum's 'International Shark Attack File'.

It is also rare to find oceanic whitetip sharks near the coastline.

Irish Independent

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