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Tourist dies in shark attack.


A KILLER shark attacked a young couple as they paddled in shallow water, leaving the man dead and his fiancee fighting for her life.

The 27-year-old Russian holidaymaker had his leg torn off below the knee and bled to death.

The woman had her left foot bitten off and suffered massive injuries to her buttocks and back.

She is seriously ill in hospital and has not yet been told of her husband- to-be's fate.

It is the second fatal shark attack in three days after a 10-year-old boy was killed off Virginia Beach.

Eyewitness Gary Harkin, who saw the latest attack on the remote beach on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, at first thought the couple were just having fun.

He said: "A couple of minutes passed and my brother-in-law thought he saw a spot in the water and said 'Is that blood?' And I said, 'I sure as hell hope not.'"

They helped pull the couple from the sea but Gary said he knew straight away the man had little chance of surviving.

He said: "I was talking to him as we were coming in but by the time we reached the beach, he had lost consciousness.

"So I ran over to the female and she had lost her left foot."

The authorities said the couple were Russians who lived in Washington DC.

Fire chief Jan Laskow said the couple were wading in shallow water on Avon Beach at 6pm on Monday night when the attack happened.

The woman was taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where Dr John Mason said she should survive.

He said: "She has several wounds and blood loss is a concern but things are looking good for her."

Jack Musick, a professor at The Virginia Institute of Marine Science, said the waters off Avon are usually the territory of the bull shark.

Musick said: "They're the ones that are the problem. They like to eat large animals like sea turtles."
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 5, 2001
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