Egypt Pays $50,000 to Russian Shark-Attack Victim

Feb 17, 2011
Outside Magazine

Shark Courtesy of Flickr

Although the recent political turmoil in Egypt may have hurt the country's tourism industry, a slurry of shark attacks in the Red Sea has made travel to the North African nation even less attractive. Six shark attacks this winter caused the Egyptian Tourism Ministry to close parts of the coastline, warn caution to all beach-goers, and undertake a large-scale hunt for the marauding whitetip sharks.

On Wednesday, the Egyptian Tourism Ministry paid $50,000 USD to a Russian man who lost his left arm to a shark and had his right severly mauled, according to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti. Three Russians and a Ukranian were hurt in other attacks and a 70-year-old German woman killed earlier in the month.

The seemingly wanton plucking of tourists from resort-side waters drove the Tourism Ministry, along with environmental authorities and biologists, to organize a hunt for the sharks. Two whitetip sharks, whose damaged fins provided divers a way of identifying the predators, were killed.

According to the International Shark Attack File, which has a global database of shark attacks on humans, there have been only nine reports of whitetip sharks attacking humans since records began in 1580. One of the nine attacks was fatal.

--Will Grant

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