Shark kills woman off France's Saint-Martin in Caribbean
A woman aged 39 has died of her injuries after she was attacked by a shark while bathing off the French portion of the Caribbean island of Saint-Martin, local officials said Friday.
The local authorities have banned bathing and watersports for the next 48 hours in the wake of the attack on Thursday afternoon, the prefecture said in a statement.
The woman was spending a sabbatical year on the island, which is divided between a French side that is part of France and a Dutch side that is a country of the Netherlands.
She was swimming some 150 metres (500 feet) off the Baie Orientale, a heavily-touristed area facing the Atlantic, when she cried out, said Mikael Dore, the secretary general of the prefecture.
Two people, including a kite-surfing instructor, then set out in a boat in a bid to rescue her, he added.
The boat found the floating body of the unconscious woman, her leg torn off and losing a lot of blood, the local gendarmerie said.
She was given treatment but succumbed to her wounds, it added.
Shark attacks are extremely rare off Saint-Martin, with the last such attack dating back to 1995. They are considered far more common off France's Indian Ocean island of La Reunion.