Boston Woman Fatally Attacked by Shark While Paddle Boarding in Bahamas

A Boston woman and her family member were paddle boarding when she was attacked by a shark and lost her life. 

The attack took place on Monday, and the victim has been identified as 44-year-old Lauren Erickson Van Wart, according to the Royal Bahamas Police Force spokesperson, Sergeant Desiree Ferguson.

The incident unfolded at a resort approximately three-quarters of a mile from the shore. Both the woman and her male relative were paddle boarding when the shark attacked.

A lifeguard who witnessed the attack immediately launched a rescue effort, rushing to their aid in a boat.

Despite the lifeguard’s swift response and attempts to administer CPR to the victim, she suffered severe injuries to her right side, including the right hip region and upper limb. 

Tragically, emergency responders were unable to detect any vital signs, and the woman was pronounced dead.

This incident comes just one day after a separate shark attack in Mexico, where a 26-year-old woman lost her life after being bitten while swimming with her young daughter.

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Recent Surge in Bahamas Shark Attacks Raises Concerns

boston-woman-fatally-attacked-shark-while-paddle-boarding-bahamas
A Boston woman and her family member were paddle boarding when she was attacked by a shark and lost her life.

While shark attacks are rare in the Bahamas, there have been several reported in recent months. Last month, a 47-year-old German woman disappeared during a diving trip off West End, Grand Bahama, following a shark encounter. In June, a woman from Iowa encountered a shark attack while scuba diving in the Bahamas, resulting in the amputation of her leg.

In a separate incident in September 2022, a US tourist lost her life to a shark while snorkeling in the Bahamas.

The 58-year-old woman from Pennsylvania was participating in an excursion near Green Cay when she was attacked by a bull shark. Despite being transported to a local hospital, she tragically did not survive.

The Bahamas is home to over 50 species of sharks, including tiger, hammerhead, and Caribbean reef sharks.

According to the International Shark Attack File, there were 108 alleged shark-human interactions worldwide in 2022, with the highest number of confirmed unprovoked attacks reported in the United States, primarily in Florida.

The recent string of shark incidents serves as an alarming reminder of the many risks of these creatures in coastal areas around the world.

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