Egyptian shark hit beaches to reopen

2010-12-13 08:40
Sharm El-Sheikh - Beaches in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh closed since a spate of shark attacks will reopen with new measures to ensure the safety of swimmers, a governor said on Sunday.

South Sinai governor Mohammed Shosha said he would permit hotels that line the coral rich coast to reopen beaches after they set up stations manned by divers and speed boats begin to patrol the waters.

"The beaches will be reopened on condition that they adhere to the new regulations and conditions," he told AFP. It was not immediately clear how soon the measures would be put in place.

Beaches along the popular resort, which attracts up to four million tourists a year, were closed on December 5 after a shark fatally mauled a German tourist metres from shore.

It was the fifth attack in a week after sharks savaged three Russians and a Ukrainian on November 30 and December 01. They survived.

Experts who studied the attacks believe they were carried out by at least two sharks, one an oceanic whitetip and another a mako, species of sharks that normally hunt far from shore.

Shosha said that hotels would also be required to place signs along beaches instructing tourists on how to avoid attracting sharks while swimming.

Holidaymakers would also be educated on the dangers of feeding fish.

Shosha said one of the main reasons for the attacks was a livestock transport ship that dumped sheep carcasses overboard, attracting the sharks.

He also blamed tourists who illegally fed fish, which might have attracted sharks.

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