AT least six people have been savaged to death by sharks so far this year as beasts prowl the waters worldwide.
Seas around the globe have turned red with 39 attacks reported since the start of January as the mighty sea creatures rip off limbs and sink their jaws into unsuspecting swimmers.
Some 26 men and 13 women – including an eight-year-old girl – have been subject to the wrath of a shark this year.
Six of the 39 recorded attacks have been fatal – with two deaths reported in Egypt, and one in New South Wales, Mexico, Colombia and South Africa.
Of the 33 non-fatal attacks around the world this year, three have been provoked.
But despite the number of attacks and fatalities, shark attacks worldwide remain rare.
But this month, two women were killed in separate shark attacks within 600 metres of each other in Egypt.
Several beaches were shut on Egypt’s Red Sea coast after the two women – one Austrian and one Romanian – died.
A 68-year-old woman from the Tyrol region of Austria – who was on holiday in Egypt – died on July 1 after losing an arm and a leg in an attack while swimming in the sea.
Elizabeth Sauer had told her husband she was just going back into the water “for a moment” shortly before the fatal incident.
Egyptian authorities have said that a Mako shark was responsible for her death.
Just two days after, a Romanian woman was found dead after she was attacked as well.
An expert has warned it could have been the same animal that butchered both swimmers.
Following the double deaths in Egypt -thought to both be at the jaws of a Mako shark – an expert has warned that illegal fishing and bait being tossed into the waters can encourage attacks.
Ahmed Fouad, director of Red Sea Project told The Sun Online: “The shortfin mako sharks, in general, are rarely encountered by swimmers or divers due to their oceanic nature and should be treated with respect and caution.
“This individual could have been an injured or hungry shark that was looking for food in this non-typical habitat. Or simply, following illegal fishing activities.
“Sharks get attracted near the shore and in open waters by bait and vibes emitted by other fish when caught.”
Ahmed said humans have “never been within the sharks’ diet”.
Shark attack victims 2022
SHARKS have killed nine people so far this year
- Victor Estrella, 56 – Diving for scallops off Mexico coast on February 12 when he was mauled by a shark, which bit off his right leg
- Simon Nellist, 35 – Swimming off Little Bay, Sydney, on February 16 when a white shark dragged him under the water.
- Antonio Straccialini, 56 – Targeted by eight-foot tiger shark while swimming in Isla de San Andres, Colombia on March 18.
- Bruce Wolov – In waters off Plettenberg Bay, South Africa, when he was savaged by a great white shark.
- Elizabeth Sauer, 68 – Died after losing an arm and leg in an attack by a Mako shark near Hurghada, Egypt, on July 1.
- Unidentified Romanian woman – Swimming off the coast of Sahl Hasheesh on July 3 when she was killed.
He added: “The chances of being attacked by a shark are very small compared to other animal attacks or other causes of injuries and death.
“Tourism-related impacts include pollution from vessels, discarded waste and plastics or sportive fishing.
“Changing the natural behavior of the sharks or rays and the species composition at a site, touching or injuring the animals, or altering their habitat can ultimately damage the resources upon which tourism businesses are based and change sharks behavior.”
In another horror killing this year, Brit Simon Nellist was fatally mauled by a 15ft great white shark in Little Bay, Sydney, as he trained for a charity swim in February.
His tragic death was the first fatal attack in the area in nearly 60 years – leaving his fiancee Jessie Ho “heartbroken and in shock”.
In a chilling theory, experts claim Simon may have been killed after the shark mistook him for a seal because of his grey wetsuit.
Dozens of shark bites have been tallied up around the world since 2022 kicked off – but Florida has proved the hotspot with 11 so far, according to Tracking Sharks.
Gavin Naylor, director of the Florida Programme for Shark Research, said there are multiple factors at play causing the high number of shark attacks in the state.
Shark attacks by numbers since 2010
THE International Shark Attack File releases an annual summary of the previous year’s unprovoked shark attacks every January
- 2010 – 82 Attacks, 6 Fatal
- 2011 – 79 Attacks, 13 Fatal
- 2012 – 83 Attacks, 7 Fatal
- 2013 – 77 Attacks, 10 Fatal
- 2014 – 73 Attacks, 3 Fatal
- 2015 – 98 Attacks, 6 Fatal
- 2016 -81 Attacks, 4 Fatal
- 2017 – 89 Attacks, 5 Fatal
- 2018 – 68 Attacks, 4 Fatal
- 2019 – 64 Attacks, 2 Fatal
- 2020 – 60 Attacks, 9 Fatal
- 2021 – 81 Attacks – 9 Fatal
He told The Sun Online: “Florida has more shark bites than most places because it has a long coastline relative to its surface area and much of this coastline is beach.
“The beaches attract a lot of tourists.
“Florida is also sub-tropical and usually has a healthy population of carcharhinid sharks which tend to be between 3-9 ft long.
“When you put it all together with lots of people in water where coastal sharks live, the probability of the sharks mistaking a swimmer’s foot or arm for the bait fish they usually feed on increases.
“It’s as simple as that.”
One bay in the state has been the scene of three attacks – with the most recent just last week.
A 28-year-old surfer had his left foot bitten while riding the waves at New Smyrna Beach on July 3.
It followed two similiar incidents on the same stretch of coastline in March as two men in their early twenties, a fisherman and a surfer, suffered bites to their legs and feet.
On the other side of the coast, a teen lost part of her leg after being attacked by a nine-foot shark.
Addison Bethea, 17, was searching for scallops in water about five feet deep near Grassy Island, just off Keaton Beach, when she was savaged by the beast in Taylor County.
She was rushed to hospital with serious injuries as doctors desperately attempted to save her severely torn limb.
From her hospital bed, brave Addison described the heroic efforts of her half-brother Rhett Willingham, 22, who jumped in the water and beat the huge shark off until his sibling was free.