Shark rips woman’s leg off on vacation in Turks and Caicos

A shark ripped off the leg of a Connecticut woman in an attack as she snorkelled off the coast of the Turks and Caicos islands in the Caribbean.

Officials say that the 22-year-old was in the water outside the Blue Haven Resort on the island of Providenciales, which is part of the Turks and Caicos chain.

An employee at the resort called an ambulance for the woman, who was snorkelling with a friend, the Royal Turks and Caicos Police said on social media.

A reef shark (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
A reef shark (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The employee told police that the victim “had her leg bitten off by a shark,” the release, which has now seemingly been removed from Instagram, said.

The victim was transported to Cheshire Hall Medical Centre on Providenciales where she remains in a serious condition, reported CNN.

Big Blue Collective, a water sports company in the Turks and Caicos Islands, confirmed the attack in a Thursday statement to the news outlet..

“The calm, quick and measured response from one of our captains and office team meant that the victim was extracted from the ocean and dispatched in the ambulance in 15 minutes, saving them from a potentially life-threatening situation,” the statement read.

The victim and her friend were on a private trip when the “unfortunate” attack, which the company says was “what is known in diving circles as a case of mistaken identity.”

The company said that they believe that the attack was carried out by a Caribbean reef shark.

The University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File says that 2022 saw 108 shark-human interactions, with 57 being unprovoked bites and 32 being provoked bites.

There were nine fatalities globally with five being classified as unprovoked. The US led the world with 41 shark-human interactions, with one fatality.

The university says that Florida has topped their data “for decades” and in 2022 the state saw 16 shark bites, which represents 39 per cent of the US total and 28 per cent of the global number.