Felixstowe: Diver in brush with Egypt’s killer shark
14:59 15 December 2010
IPSWICH: A man today told of the moment he came face to face with the killer Sharm el Sheikh shark – just two days after the beast took the life of a German tourist.
Three days after he retired, Gary Young set off with a group of friends from the club Diveline in Ipswich, on a diving holiday staying on the shores of the Red Sea, close to the Sinai Peninsula.
On Sunday, December 5, the day they arrived, they heard news that a 70-year-old German woman had been killed in a shark attack while she was out snorkelling.
Four other tourists were also injured in shark attacks in the area around the same time.
Disappointed at the heavy restrictions imposed, the group were eager to dive.
They had to wait two days for the restrictions to be partially lifted to allow experienced divers in.
While enjoying the scenery in Naama Bay, with his underwater camera in hand, Mr Young said the beast appeared from the depths.
The 65-year-old, of Looe Road, Felixstowe, said the female oceanic whitetip shark swam right up to their group, and it was then they noticed she bore the distinctive mark of the killer creature.
“They are not uncommon in the area, you see oceanic whitetips quite a lot,” he said. “But this one had a chink in her tail, similar to the descriptions given of the shark that killed the German lady.
“I wouldn’t say I wasn’t frightened,” he said. “The fact the attacks had happened and a woman had died and then obviously to come face to face with her, it did make me a bit apprehensive.
“But I have dived with sharks before, and there were between 20 and 30 of us in our group, so it wasn’t too worrying.
“She was beautiful, she swam around us for about five minutes or so. But she didn’t seem bothered by us.”
Upon his return home Mr Young checked out the sighting on Egypt’s Chamber of Diving and Watersports website. There he discovered a report linking the shark he spotted with the fatal attack two days previously.
He added: “It states the shark was still in the area, and was showing a general pattern of travelling between the area of the attacks.
“Unfortunately my pictures don’t show it, but she had the distinctive chink in her tail.
“I am sure it was her.”
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