Two tourists: an Austrian and a Romanian woman, have been killed by a shark near Hurghada on the Red Sea, where Egyptian authorities have closed several beaches since the incident.
“Two women were attacked by a shark while swimming in the Sahel Hachich area, south of Hurghada,” Egypt’s environment ministry said on Sunday, adding that an investigation had been launched.
The Egyptian Ministry of the Environment said on Sunday that “all activity is forbidden for three days” on the beaches in the south of Hurghada (south-east), according to a decree issued by the governor of the region, Amr Hanafi, on Friday.
The Austrian Foreign Ministry confirmed to AFP “the death of an Austrian national in Egypt”, without giving further details.
The governor’s order mentions “an Austrian tourist who had her left arm ripped off” by a shark.
According to the Austrian news agency APA, the 68-year-old victim from the western region of Tyrol had been on holiday in Egypt since the beginning of June with her Egyptian partner.
For its part, the Romanian Foreign Ministry confirmed that its embassy in Egypt had “been informed by telephone (Sunday) by a travel agent of the death of a Romanian citizen on holiday in Hurghada.
In 2018, a Czech tourist was killed by a shark off an Egyptian beach in the Red Sea, as was a German in 2015, and in 2010 a German woman died and four other tourists were seriously injured in shark attacks off a beach in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt’s most famous resort.
Egypt relies heavily on the Red Sea, which receives 65% of tourists visiting the country.
The Egyptian tourism sector is trying to recover from ten years of political turmoil, since the “revolution” that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011, and the Covid-19 pandemic.