A British tourist has told of the terrifying moment she saw a woman mauled to death by a shark at the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
Ellen Barnes, from Sussex, was snorkelling at the popular diving destination when the 71-year-old German woman was attacked by the oceanic white tip shark, tearing her arm off and turning the water into a sea of red.
Miss Barnes told Sky News: “I’d been out snorkelling to take some pictures – I was out in the sea when it happened. It was terrifying.
“I heard my partner shouting from the shore and lots of other people shouting. The water had just turned red. It was just absolutely horrific.
“I was desperately trying to scrabble across the coral. I watched this woman screaming ‘Help, help, help’. She was thrashing around.
“The shark just kept coming up and taking bites out of her and then coming back for more and taking another bite. The water had just turned red. It was just absolutely horrific.”
The German woman was the fifth person to be attacked by a shark in less than a week at the African resort, a popular destination for British tourists.
Locals thought they had caught the fish responsible when an oceanic white tip and mako shark were killed before the Sunday’s fatality.
Specialist Marine biologists have now be bought in to find out if there are a series of sharks responsible for the attacks or if it’s one aggressive fish causing the chaos.
The shark most likely to be responsible for the attacks is the oceanic white tip. Oceanic white tips can grow up to four-metres long and are thought to be responsible for more fatal attacks on humans than all other sharks combined, due to their predation on survivors of shipwrecks and plane crashes.
Authorities say shallow waters are now “completely secure” but have temporarily prohibited tourists from swimming in deep water with only experienced divers allowed to enter the sea.
The horrifying series of events have drawn comparisons with the 1975 Steven Spielberg film Jaws where a rogue great white shark brings terror to a popular beach resort.