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Monday, July 15, 2024

Shark attacks haven’t scared off tourists

Norwegians starved for sunshine and warmth don’t appear to be letting shark attacks scare them away from long-planned winter holidays on the Red Sea at Sharm el-Sheikh. Tour operators haven’t experienced any rush of cancellations so far.

“No, Sharm el-Sheikh is a very popular tourist destination,” Helen Begby of tour operator Apollo told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “It will take more than a shark attack to keep Norwegians home.”

There actually have been three unusual attacks by aggressive sharks in the waters off Sharm el-Sheikh in the past week. A German woman was killed on Sunday while snorkeling, and a Russian and a Ukrainian were attacked while swimming. They survived but lost an arm and a leg.

Authorities have closed beaches and halted all diving expeditions for the next few days. As many as 2,000 Norwegians are currently on holiday in the area, and Star Tour was among tour operators offering refunds to those with pre-paid diving packages.

“People seem to be taking this well, it’s been calm this morning and we haven’t received many calls,” said Lena Petterson of Star Tour. “We’re following the situation closely.”

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