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American bride killed by shark while paddleboarding in Bahamas, police say

Mortuary services personnel transport the body of a female tourist after what police described as a fatal shark attack in waters near Sandals Royal Bahamian resort, in Nassau, Bahamas (REUTERS)
Mortuary services personnel transport the body of a female tourist after what police described as a fatal shark attack in waters near Sandals Royal Bahamian resort, in Nassau, Bahamas (REUTERS)

An American newlywed was killed by a shark the day after her wedding while paddle boarding in the Bahamas, according to police in the country.

The female victim, who is from Boston, tied the knot on Sunday and was attacked on Monday morning in waters less than a mile off the western end of New Providence Island, according to WCVB.

Authorities say that the unidentified victim was in the water with a relative, who was not injured in the attack. The type of shark involved in the attack was not immediately clear.

“Shortly after 11.15am, police were notified that a female visitor from Boston, Massachusetts, USA, was subsequently attacked by a shark,” Royal Bahamas Police Force said in a statement. “According to initial reports, the female – along with a male relative – were paddleboarding just at the rear of a resort in western Providence, some 3/4 miles out from the shoreline, when she was bitten by the shark.”

Both of the paddle boarders were rescued by a lifeguard in a boat but the woman, who had serious injuries to the right side of her body, died at the scene.

“We extend our heartfelt condolences—for this most unfortunate situation,” said Police Sgt Desiree Ferguson.

The attack took place near the Sandles resort on Cable Beach.

People gather on the resort pier after the shark attack at Sandals Royal Bahamian resort (REUTERS)
People gather on the resort pier after the shark attack at Sandals Royal Bahamian resort (REUTERS)

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic passing of a guest while on a paddleboarding activity nearly a mile from the shore. We wish to express our heartfelt condolences to the guest’s family and loved ones. We remain in close contact with them and are providing all support possible during this difficult time,” Sandals Resorts said in a statement.

Gavin Naylor, director of the International Shark Attack File in Florida, told the Associated Press that there are between 30 and 40 species of sharks that live in the waters around the Bahamas

He told the outlet that the Caribbean reef shark, the bull shark, the tiger shark and the black tip shark were the most likely to bite.

“Usually, it’s an accidental bite. They think it’s something else,” he said. “Once in a while, they’ll actually single out people, and it’s very intentional.”

There were 57 unprovoked shark bites worldwide in 2022, with nine fatalities, according to the International Shark Attack File.

The Bahamas has seen 33 unprovoked shark attacks since 1749, according to the data.

Officials in the Bahamas are still searching for a German woman who went missing last month while diving in the region.

And last year a female cruise ship passenger from Pennsylvania was attacked and killed by a shark while snorkeling near Green Cay.