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I wrote the book on shark attacks… why you should NEVER wear jewellery in the sea & popular Brit holiday hotspot to fear

IT was meant to be a serene dive to marvel at the stunning coral reefs of the Red Sea.

But Brit Dan White watched in horror as the expedition turned to terror when a shark attacked a fellow diver.

Terrifying footage shows a shark latching on to a diver's legs in Egypt

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Terrifying footage shows a shark latching on to a diver’s legs in Egypt
Expert Ralph Collier says he's examined more fatal shark victims than anyone else on the planet

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Expert Ralph Collier says he’s examined more fatal shark victims than anyone else on the planetCredit: BBC

Dan, 33, from Aldershot, Hampshire, caught the horrifying moment on camera while diving at the Brothers Islands 40 miles off the mainland of Egypt.

A fellow diver can be heard screaming in terror amid the attack five metres below the surface, in footage seen in the new BBC documentary Why Sharks Attack.

Now experts are warning there could be more shark attacks at Egyptian holiday hotspots – as the hungry predators run out of food due to overfishing – and urging tourists to be aware of their outfit choices in the sea.

Just last month a 23-year-old tourist was killed as he swam at Hurghada and in 2022 two people were mauled to death within days of each other.

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Veteran shark analyst Ralph Collier tells The Sun how he once investigated a spate of five attacks in five days, unusually close to the shore of Sharm el-Sheikh.

He found that, while some victims lost their arms, others had bites taken out their backsides because dive bosses were encouraging tourists to hand feed sharks, which realised fish were being kept in bum bags. The Egyptian Government has since cracked down on the practice.

Ralph, president of America’s Shark Research Committee, said: “I’ve probably examined more fatal shark attack victims than anyone currently on the planet and it never gets any easier.

“Sharks prefer deep water but the topography of this tourist area is such that you have a sloping beach that drops away to up to 2,000 ft deep. Sharks can be swimming right next to you.

“If I was a tourist I would be very cautious about diving or swimming in the Red Sea. The area needs trained lifeguards on beaches at all times. South Africa, where there have been many attacks, have lifeguards who are highly trained in treating victims, right on the beach before emergency people arrive.

“The Egyptian authorities need to look at what’s taking place. When you live off tourism you have to be sure you’re doing everything possible to keep that business.”

Ralph also advises holidaymakers to avoid wearing glittering jewellery on holiday, which could attract the animals as it can be mistaken for fish, and brightly coloured swimsuits.

Savage mauling

Divers before the chilling attack in 2018

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Divers before the chilling attack in 2018
Egyptian shark expert Nour Farid reckons the sharks are hungrier than ever

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Egyptian shark expert Nour Farid reckons the sharks are hungrier than everCredit: BBC

Dan was completing his deep diver certificate with five others when he recorded the moment a shark tore at a man’s legs, filling the sea with blood in 2018.

The diver was given first aid on his boat and survived his attack but shark behaviour experts have warned there could be more attacks in popular holiday areas.

They believe a combination of climate change, fishing and tourism are changing the way sharks hunt – and more humans could be on the menu.

Nour Farid, of the Red Sea conversation group HEPCA, believes there were too many divers around the shark when it struck during Dan’s trip.

He says sharks are now hunting in shallower waters due to overfishing – and said rising numbers of tourists are also a problem.

Nour said: “If you watch that video, there are too many divers around when the shark had a go.

“There’s more people than ever before in the Red Sea which means there’s more probability a shark comes and bites someone. It’s simple.

“We did a calculation of a specific dive site in a specific area and the sustainable number of dives should have been between 25,000 to 30,000 a year. When we counted we found there were more than 250,000 dives a year.”

Fatal attacks

A killer shark was pulled ashore and beaten after an attack in Egypt last month

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A killer shark was pulled ashore and beaten after an attack in Egypt last monthCredit: CEN
Russian Vladimir Popov died after a shark attack

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Russian Vladimir Popov died after a shark attackCredit: East2West

Last month, 23-year-old Russian Vladimir Popov was heard screaming “Papa, Papa” after a 10ft shark dragged him under water while swimming in Hurghada.

Witnesses said the sea turned a deep crimson red as the shark toyed with his body for more than two hours as his family watched on helplessly.

His dad Yury said: “We went to the beach to relax.

“What kind of help can you give? This meat grinder happened in 20 seconds, he was just dragged under.”

The beast was hunted down and beaten to death by fisherman before it was mummified and put on display in a local museum.

It turned out to be a pregnant tiger shark which carries up to 70 offspring a year.

Nour told the documentary that the autopsy revealed the shark had veered away from its usual behaviour of hunting in deep waters to find food in the shallows where tourists swim.

He said: “There were no leftovers of fish in the shark’s stomach . We see this shark went for feeding and not just because it just, like.  bumped into somebody or something on the surface.”

He is calling for a fishing ban to be introduced in the Red Sea to restore depleted stock and give sharks more food.

In July last year there were two fatal shark attacks within days at Hurghada. 

Tourists and locals were recorded screaming and crying from a jetty as Austrian Elisabeth Sauer, 68, was savaged by a Mako shark, an endangered species in the Red Sea. She lost an arm and a leg and died of shock on her way to hospital.

The next day Romanian Roxana Donisan, 44, was discovered nearby, her body savaged by a shark.  She was identified after failing to show up at her hotel.

The number of shark attacks worldwide has remained between 80 and 120 for over a decade – despite declining predator numbers.

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The world capital of shark bites is Florida with 16 victims last year.  

Why Sharks Attack is on BBC iPlayer now

Destinations like Sharm el-Sheikh are a favourite with Brit holidaymakers

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Destinations like Sharm el-Sheikh are a favourite with Brit holidaymakersCredit: Getty


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