A U.S. woman from Boston was killed in a shark attack in the Bahamas, police say

A U.S. woman from Boston was killed in a shark attack while paddleboarding in the Bahamas, marking a rare but not unheard-of event in the area.

The Incident: A female tourist from Boston was attacked by a shark near New Providence island, home to the capital city Nassau.
* The victim was paddleboarding with a man who was not injured, according to the police.
* Despite rescue efforts by a lifeguard, the woman suffered severe injuries and was declared dead at the scene.

Contextual Data: Shark attacks, particularly fatal ones, are rare but not entirely uncommon in places like the Bahamas with large tourist populations.
* Between 30 to 40 shark species live around the Bahamas, with the Caribbean reef shark, the bull shark, the tiger shark, and the blacktip shark reported to have the highest bite frequency.
* Fatal shark attacks average five to six annually worldwide, most occurring in Australia. However, the majority of unprovoked bites occur in the U.S.
* The Bahamas ranks ninth worldwide for confirmed unprovoked shark attacks since 1580, with at least 33 reported cases.

Related Incidents: Shark attacks in the Caribbean, though rare, have happened before.
* Authorities in the Bahamas are searching for a German woman who recently went missing and is believed to have been attacked while diving.
* Last year, a shark killed a U.S. cruise ship passenger from Pennsylvania who was snorkeling in the northern Bahamas near Green Cay.
* A rare shark attack was reported in the French Caribbean territory of St. Martin three years ago.

Experts’ Opinion: Sharks, in the Bahamas, may become less cautious than they usually are due to increased human interactions.
* “So the sharks get acclimated, and the animals are a little bit less cautious than they otherwise might be,” said Gavin Naylor, program director of the International Shark Attack File in Florida.
* According to Naylor, most shark bites are accidental, but on rare occasions, they can be intentionally directed at humans.

View original article on NPR
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