Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Brazil: Tourist from São Paulo, 18, Dies from Injuries Sustained from Shark Attack in Recife

According to ABC News, Bruna Gobbi, an 18-year-old from São Paulo, was rushed to the Restauracao hospital in Recife after being attacked by a shark in relatively shallow water on Monday (July 22).

The young woman lost a considerable amount of blood by the time first responders arrived. Additionally, circumstances required that her leg be amputated. Despite physician efforts, Ms. Gobbi died.

COMMENT: A total of 58 shark attacks, 28 of them fatal, have been reported over the past 21 years in Recife, one the most popular seaside resorts in the north-eastern state of Pernambuco, according to a state agency that has been tracking shark attacks since 1922.

As I have said in previous postings, there are a number of proactive steps that tourists can take to reduce their vulnerability to shark attacks:

1. If you are new to a beach area, ask first responders and lifeguards FIRST if there have been any shark attacks in the area;

2. Always be vigilant of sharks in the water, even in the shallows;

3. Comply with "Beach Closed" signs, as there may be a very good reason that beaches are closed;

4. Always swim with other people in the event an emergency arises;

5. Don't swim alone at night;

6. Ask hotel concierge staff if there have been any reported shark attacks; and

7. If you swim in salt water, take an emergency first aid course through the Red Cross and get certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).