SHARK KILLS CZECH TOURIST SWIMMING OFF THE COAST OF EGYPT

A Czech tourist was killed by a shark while swimming in the Red Sea off the coast of Egypt, authorities said Sunday.

The man died 20 kilometres north of Marsa Alam city as “a result of an attack by a shark”, city council chairman General Atef Wagdy said.

The health ministry is coordinating handing over the body to the Czech embassy, Wagdy said.

Local media reported on Friday that human remains were found on a beach in Marsa Alam. The environment ministry has set up a committee to investigate the death and will issue a report, Wagdy added.

Marsa Alam attracts divers who explore coral and other marine life, including fish and sharks. “There is no problem in diving” around Marsa Alam, but people who swim on the surface in deep waters beyond the coral can be vulnerable to attack, Wagdy said.

In 2015, a shark killed a German tourist off Egypt’s Red Sea coast, marking the first death in five years. There were six recorded shark attacks in Egyptian waters in 2010, including a spate of five in five days unusually close to the shore that killed another German and injured four other foreign tourists in December that year.

The 2010 attacks forced the government to close off a stretch of beach in the Sharm el-Sheikh resort for a week. In 2017, Egypt received 8.3 million visitors, a surge of 54 percent from 5.4 million in 2016.

The country’s tourism industry had been dealt a devastating blow in 2015 when jihadists bombed a Russian airliner carrying holidaymakers from Sharm el-Sheikh, killing all 224 on board.

Before that, the industry had begun to recover from the 2011 uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak. Travel agencies, hotel managers and diving centres told AFP earlier this year that reservations have risen, especially in Red Sea destinations including Marsa Alam and Hurghada.

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