Woman swimmer killed in apparent shark attack

A woman swimmer has died in an apparent shark attack off the coast Maine, New England.

Maine Marine Patrol said a witness saw the woman swimming off the shore of Bailey Island when she was injured.

Two kayakers helped her to shore, and an ambulance provided further assistance, a spokeswoman for the US Coast Guard said.

The woman has not yet been named and authorities have not yet officially confirmed the incident as a shark attack.

Human/shark interactions are incredibly rare in Maine, the only other recorded unprovoked attack happened in 2010 when diver Scott MacNichol had to use his underwater camera to fend off a porbeagle that circled him before closing in.

MacNichol estimated the shark to be about eight feet long and weighing 300 pounds.

In the US as a whole there were 460 shark attacks between 2010 and 2019, with just six fatalities, according to the International Shark attack File.

Florida has the highest number of recorded attacks, although scientists have warned that warming oceans means that sharks could migrate further north along the US eastern seaboard and the frequency of attacks in states such as Maine could increase.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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