Statement from CDWS regarding events in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt


PRESS RELEASE

CDWS statement update Sunday 5 December 22:00
– Diving and all watersports activities suspended in Sharm el Sheikh
– CDWS call in world renowned Shark Experts

CDWS announced this evening that all diving and watersports activities have been suspended along the Sharm El Sheikh coastline tomorrow (Monday 6 December 2010).

The suspension comes following a 4th incident in less than one week involving a shark attack on a tourist. Today’s event took place off the beach in front of the Hyatt hotel, Naama Bay. Unfortunately, the 71 year old German woman did not survive.

Last week, three similar attacks took place involving one Ukranian and two Russian snorkellers. These incidents led to severe injuries, but no loss of life.

CDWS is the regulatory body for diving and watersports in Egypt and would like to emphasise that such attacks are extremely rare and this kind of shark behaviour is causing disbelief amongst the Red Sea diving community.

CDWS has over recent days called upon a number of experts from around the world including Dr Marie Levine (Head of the Shark Research Institute in Princeton), Dr Erich Ritter (a specialist in behavioural ecology), Dr Ralph Collier (Shark Research Committee and author of Shark Attacks of the Twentieth Century) and Dr. George H. Burgess (director of the Florida Program for Shark Research) in order to build a team of professionals in the field of shark behaviour.

Dr Burgess is also the director of the Florida Program for Shark Research and the curator of the International Shark Attack File (Florida Museum of National History) and will be the first to arrive in Sharm el Sheikh on Monday evening to join the team here in the resort. Together they will establish the best way to deal with this highly unusual situation and attempt to find the root of its cause.

CDWS chairman Hesham Gabr has called on the organisation’s members to conduct further exploratory dives tomorrow along the Sharm el Sheikh coast in order to report back to the shark experts. He would also like to express his sympathies to the family of today’s victim.

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