A 26-year-old woman has died after a shark tore off her leg as she swam with her five-year-old daughter off a Mexican beach, Metro reported. The attack occurred on Saturday, a short distance from the beach in Melaque, just west of the seaport of Manzanillo, as per Rafael Araiza, the head of the local civil defense office.
The woman identified as Maria Fernandez Martinez Jimenez was swimming with her daughter when she was attacked by the shark. As soon as she sensed danger, she tried to boost her child aboard the floating platform in an attempt to save her. Her efforts paid off as her daughter miraculously escaped injury despite being beside her in the water.
Meanwhile, graphic footage has surfaced showing Maria lying on the sand as horrified onlookers rallied around her. Onlookers could be heard shouting: ”She’s lost her leg” as they waited for emergency responders to arrive. Despite the quick response by rescuers, she died from blood loss from the massive bite wound on her leg.
Civil Protection workers and firefighters in the municipality of Cihuatlan, which Melaque Beach is part of, said, ”Our officials were carrying out support activities during a swimming event in the bay when they received reports of a person who was having problems getting out of the sea. When they reached the area they discovered a woman who was lifeless with one of her legs amputated, apparently following a shark attack.”
After the tragedy, local authorities issued a warning to locals and visitors to stay out of the water. Organisers suspended a swimming race due to take place in the same waters. They also closed the beaches in Melaque and Barra de Navidad to swimming as a precaution.
Cihuatlan’s municipal government said in a subsequent message, ”Following the terrible incident off one of our beaches, our priority is guaranteeing the safety and wellbeing of all our citizens. That’s why we’ve decided on a precautionary measure of banning access to beaches until further notice. We are working in collaboration with the appropriate authorities to evaluate the situation and take the necessary measures to guarantee security on our beaches.”