Just minutes before an Austrian pensioner was beaten to death, Egyptian lifeguards were warned of sharks in the water near a Red Sea resort but scoffed at the suggestion, it was claimed today.
English-speaking guests warned Egyptian guards in Sarhaish, south of tourist hub Hurghada, about the shark on Friday – 15 minutes before 68-year-old Elisabeth Sauer of Austria was attacked in front of horrified onlookers – but was laughed at: “There are no sharks [here], never,” the Russian tourist claimed.
A second woman – only identified as a Romanian national in her 40s – was said to have been killed in a similar attack just 650 feet from where Sauer died. On the same day, her severely disfigured remains were found on a nearby reef. News of her death first surfaced on Sunday.
But another Russian woman – just named Jenna – told reporters that the Romanian disappeared from the five-star Lelev Premiere Hotel two days before her body was found, suggesting she may indeed be the first victim.
Ms Sauer lost an arm and a leg in an attack as onlookers tried to distract the shark and bring it to safety. She reached the shore with the help of fins, but died soon after. Details of when the Romanian woman was killed have not been released, and Egyptian officials now face cover-up charges.
Jenna, who lives in Hurghada, told Russian media Gazette.ru: “She was found on coral … her body was disfigured and she was a Romanian citizen.” She “has been missing from her room for two days,” Jenna said. .
She added: “After the first casualty, no one closed any beaches.”
Separately, a post on the Russian travel social media site added: “English-speaking man standing on the dock saw a shark 15 minutes before the attack and warned lifeguards.
“But they laughed at them, saying that Sarhash has no sharks and never has. To put it bluntly, everything is Egyptian…no science, no real system.
Officials in the Red Sea province yesterday said all marine activities, including fishing and diving, would be banned in the attack zone and in Hurghada, as nearby beaches were empty after the death.