Officials in Maine are investigating the death of a woman who was killed in an apparent shark attack Monday while swimming off the coast. Experts say her tragic death could be the first fatal shark attack in the state's history.
What are the details?
WFXT-TV reported that the woman — whose name is being withheld pending notification of her family — was swimming with another woman off the coast of Bailey Island in Harpswell when witnesses saw the victim thrown into the air and exhibiting severe injuries just after 3:30 p.m.
A pair of kayakers rushed to her aid and were able to transport her and the other woman to shore. When first responders arrived, the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Jeff Nichols, a spokesman for the Maine Marine Patrol, said the second woman who was swimming with the victim was not injured.
The Maine Department of Marine Resources confirmed that the Maine Marine Patrol is investigating the woman's death as an apparent shark attack, and warned swimmers and boaters to "use caution near Bailey Island and to avoid swimming near schooling fish or seals."
The Daily Mail reported that "the attack could be Maine's first fatal shark attack in recorded history."
Arizona State University professor Dr. James Sulikowski, who conducts shark research in New England, told the Press Herald there has only been one recorded instance of an unprovoked shark attack in Maine.
"Shark attacks with humans are very rare in Maine," Sulikowski told the outlet. "My guess is that person (who was attacked) was mistaken as a food item. In this area of Maine and depending on how close to shore the event occurred, my guess is it was a white shark."
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