An Italian tourist was fatally attacked by a shark off a Caribbean island, according to reports.
The 56-year-old victim, identified by local media as Antonio Roseto Degli Abruzzi, was swimming near a cliff off Colombia’s San Andrés island Friday when he was bitten in the right leg by an 8-foot tiger shark, reports said.
He died of severe blood loss, authorities said.
The incident occurred in an area called “La Piscinita” — a popular snorkeling area on the southwest side of San Andres about 235 miles off the coast of Nicaragua and around 470 miles north of the Colombian mainland.
It took place in an area with few swimmers, AFP reported, citing local media.
Diving instructor Mirla Zambrano said the incident was the first shark attack on a tourist in San Adres.
“We are all very surprised,” said Zambrano, 50, according to The Daily Mirror.
An island government spokesman confirmed to the tabloid, “There are diving programs with professionals in which sharks pass nearby, but nothing has ever happened.”
Marine biologist Rodrigo Lopez told The Mirror that “people are very worried” about the incident.
“A witness said the man who was attacked was a good swimmer and had been in the sea for quite a while, and when he went further out a second time after coming back towards the shore, began to shout out for help and was surrounded by blood,” Lopez explained.