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Mom, 26, Dies in Apparent Shark Attack While Swimming With Daughter, 5, Off Mexico Coast

The woman was reportedly attempting to push her daughter onto a floating play platform when she was bitten in the leg

Photo © James R.D. Scott / Getty Images. This blue shark is one of about 270 species of ground sharks, a group of sharks that also includes hammerhead sharks.
Photo © James R.D. Scott / Getty Images. This blue shark is one of about 270 species of ground sharks, a group of sharks that also includes hammerhead sharks.

A woman has died after she was seemingly attacked by a shark while swimming with her daughter in Mexico.

The 26-year-old, who is from the area, was swimming with her 5-year-old daughter off the coast of Melaque when the incident occurred on Saturday, according to Rafael Araiza, the head of the local civil defense office, per The New York Post and the Associated Press.

The mom was reportedly attempting to push her daughter onto a floating play platform about 75 feet (25 meters) from shore when she was bitten in the leg.

Officials were offering their support during a local swimming event when they learned of the incident at sea, Civil Protection officials in the municipality of Cihuatlan said, per the Post.

Related: How to Prevent a Shark Attack and What to Do If Bitten? An American Lifeguard Association Expert Weighs In

Local officials said the woman was found dead at the scene and that one of her legs had been severed, according to CNN.

The woman, who also sustained a large bite wound near her left hip, died from blood loss, Ariaza said, per the Post and AP.

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The victim was identified locally as Maria Fernandez Martinez Jimenez, according to the Post and The Evening Standard. The woman’s daughter was reportedly not harmed.

In a statement, the Cihuatlán municipal government warned people to avoid local beaches amid a red flag warning, according to CNN.

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“Our priority is to guarantee the safety and wellbeing of every citizen,” the government said, per the outlet.

Local beaches were closed to swimmers as a precaution following Saturday’s deadly incident.

Jimenez was a former marine biology student, according to the Post and Standard.

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