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Egypt, Hurghada. A Russian man died in a shark attack in Egypt, his girlfriend managed to escape

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A 24-year-old man died on Thursday after a shark attack near the beach in Hurghada, Egypt, the Russian consul general in the city said. The girl swimming with him managed to escape. Over the past 30 years, there have been nearly 30 shark attacks in Egypt’s Red Sea, which is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists each year, nine of them fatally.

The Russian Consulate General in Hurghada confirmed that the victim of the attack was a 24-year-old Russian man who lived permanently in Egypt and was not a tourist. Egypt’s Environment Ministry said the man was killed by a tiger shark.

Tourists watched in horror from the shore as the animal injured a man before dragging him underwater. The girl with him managed to escape. The video, posted by witnesses on the Internet, shows how the man tries to escape from the attack, but is pulled under the water by the predator.

Nearly 30 attacks in the last 30 years

Every year, more than a million tourists visit Egypt’s nearly 1,500 kilometers of Red Sea coast and its diving sites, some of the most attractive in the world. Hurghada, along with Sharm el-Sheikh and Marsa Alam, are one of the most popular summer and winter holiday destinations among Poles.

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Over the past 30 years of intensive use of these regions for tourism, nearly 30 unprovoked shark attacks have been recorded, resulting in the death of nine people, according to the International Shark Attack Inventory (ISAF). Eleven of the attacks during this period were in the Sinai peninsula, mainly Sharm el-Sheikh, three in the Hurghada area, and 10 in the reefs near Marsa Alam and in the very south of the Egyptian coast.

Shark attacks are extremely rare around the world, considering the number of people who swim, dive and engage in other sports in the sea. According to ISAF, there were 97 unprovoked shark attacks on humans worldwide in 2022, 11 of which were fatal.

Illustrative photo

Hurghada, EgyptYURY LEDENTSOV/Shutterstock

More than 40 species of shark live in the Red Sea

More than 40 species of shark live in the Red Sea, including known predators such as the second most dangerous shark in the world, the five-metre-long tiger shark, and the distinctive-looking hammerhead shark, which are known to occasionally attack humans even when unprovoked . However, most shark species in the Red Sea pose little threat to humans. As opportunistic predators, these creatures prefer to eat fish, cephalopods, crustaceans and sea turtles rather than human flesh. Owing to many attacks, oceanic whitetip sharks are considered very contact fish as they often show curiosity towards divers.

The events in Sharm el-Sheikh in December 2010, when five shark attacks took place there over the course of five days, resulted in the death of one person. Several hypotheses have been put forward to explain what may have triggered this unprecedented series. One theory is that boats carrying sheep for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha two weeks earlier had thrown overboard carcasses of sheep that may have drifted close to shore, attracting oceanic whitetip sharks and coati that usually forage at great depths. Another hypothesis was that today it is illegal for diving companies to feed sharks in order to lure them for their clients. It is also often pointed out that sharks change their habits and move closer to the shore, because there are fewer and fewer fish in the seas and oceans due to overfishing.

Main photo source: YURY LEDENTSOV/Shutterstock

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