Russian man mauled to death by tiger shark off Egypt's Red Sea coast in rare attack

A young Russian man was mauled to death by a shark off one of Egypt's Red Sea resorts, according to Egyptian and Russian authorities.

The man, named as Vladimir Popov by Russian media, died after being attacked by a tiger shark in the waters near the city of Hurghada, Egypt's environment ministry said.

Footage circulating online, purportedly of the attack, shows a man thrashing about in the water before being repeatedly attacked by a shark circling him and then dragged under.

The ministry later said the shark had been caught and was being examined in a laboratory to try to determine the reasons for the rare attack.

A 46-mile (74km) stretch of the coastline was closed off by authorities, who announced it would remain off-limits until Sunday.

The man's father, Yury Popov, was forced to watch the attack helplessly from the shore as the predator circled the 23-year-old and eventually dragged him under the water.

Speaking to the 112 media outlet following his son's death, Mr Popov said: "We went to the beach to relax. My son was attacked by a shark, it all happened in seconds."

He said no other family members were near his son at the time of the attack to help, but added: "What kind of help can you give? This meat grinder happened in 20 seconds, he was just dragged under the water."

Mr Popov described the attack as an "absolutely ridiculous coincidence" because the beach is known to be safe.

"There are ships and yachts around. It's never happened there. They usually attack on wild beaches. It's just some kind of evil fate," he said.

Other videos being shared online show the tiger shark being caught alive and dragged ashore by a boat following the attack, before being clubbed to death.

It is considered rare for shark attacks to take place in the coastal areas of the Red Sea.

However, there were two fatal incidents of shark attacks last year in Hurghada within a few days of each other, resulting in the deaths of Austrian and Romanian tourists.

Egypt's renowned beach destinations in the Red Sea, such as Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh, are frequently visited by European tourists. These destinations are particularly popular among divers who are drawn by the vibrant sea life visible in the steep drop-offs of coral reefs located just offshore.

In recent times, Egypt has been making concerted efforts to revive its tourism industry, which has suffered due to political instability, the COVID pandemic, and the conflict in Ukraine.

Tiger sharks are a notable species found in both tropical and temperate waters. They are known for being among the sharks that often attack humans without provocation, as per the records of the International Shark Attack File.