A 23-year-old Russian died after being attacked by a tiger shark on Thursday in front of one of the Red Sea resorts in Egypt, in the waters near the city of Hurghada, according to Egyptian and Russian authorities, in an incident that was recorded on video and witnessed by his father.
The man, identified as Yury Vladimirovich, told a Russian news site that he saw his son, Vladimir Polov, die helplessly to help him: "We went to the beach to relax. My son was attacked by a shark, it happened in a matter of seconds," he said in an interview published on EastNews112's Telegram channel.
A video of the attack circulating online and verified by NBC News, Telemundo's sister network, shows a person in the water appearing to shout "daddy" as a shark circles around him before attacking him and sinking him into the water.
The father said that there was no one from the family near the young man: "It was impossible to help him. This meat grinder happened in 20 seconds, dragged him underwater."
Shark incidents are unusual in these Red Sea regions, although in 2022 there were two fatal attacks in Hurghada in a matter of days, killing an Austrian tourist and a Romanian tourist. Tiger sharks are large species that reside in tropical and temperate waters and are among the sharks most cited by the International Shark Attack File for unprovoked attacks on humans.
Popov said there were a group of senseless circumstances that generated the accident since it is "a safe beach." "There are boats and yachts around. It has never happened there. They normally strike on wild beaches," he noted, "it's kind of a malevolent fate."
In the aftermath of the tragedy, authorities closed a 46-mile stretch of coastline and announced they won't allow access until Sunday.
Tourists in the waters of the Red Sea in the Egyptian town of Hurghada on Thursday. AFP - Getty Images
Egypt's Environment Ministry later said it had captured the shark and was examining it in a laboratory to try to determine the reasons for the strange attack. The Russian consulate in Hurghada identified the victim as a Russian citizen but did not give his name. The EastNews112 channel indicates that Popov plans to cremate his son and transport the ashes to Russia.
Egypt's Red Sea resorts, including Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh, boast some of the country's most famous beach destinations and are popular with European tourists.
It is a space of special interest for those who practice diving by the coral reefs on the coast, which offer a rich and colorful marine life. Egypt has sought in recent years to revive the vital tourism sector, hit by years of political instability, the coronavirus pandemic, and the war in Ukraine.