An American tourist was killed by a shark Monday while paddleboarding in the Bahamas, according to local police. 

Nassau police were notified around 11:15 a.m. about a woman visiting from Boston, Massachusetts, who’d been attacked by a shark. She is believed to be in her 40s. 

Police told reporters that the woman had been paddleboarding with a male relative less than a mile off the western end of New Providence island, where the capital, Nassau, is located, when she was bitten by a shark. 


Mortuary services personnel transport the body of a female tourist after what police described as a fatal shark attack Monday in waters near Sandals Royal Bahamian resort, in Nassau, Bahamas. (Reuters/Dante Carrer)

A lifeguard on duty observed what was happening, went out on a rescue boat, and retrieved the victim along with her relative, and brought them to safety. 

CPR was administered to the female victim, but she had suffered serious injuries to the right side of her body, including the upper hip region and her right upper limb, police said. 

Emergency personnel responded to the scene and assessed that she "showed no vital signs of life," police said. The relative who she was paddleboarding with was not injured. 


Nassau, Bahamas shark attack

People gather on the resort pier after what police described Monday as a fatal shark attack against a tourist at Sandals Royal Bahamian resort, in Nassau, Bahamas. (Reuters/Dante Carrer)

"We extend our heartfelt condolences…for this most unfortunate situation," Police Sgt. Desiree Ferguson said. 

It was not immediately clear what type of shark attacked the woman. Police have not released the identity of the victim. 

Fatal shark attacks are rare, with only an average of five to six reported worldwide a year, most of them occurring in Australia. Last year, there were a total of 57 unprovoked bites around the globe, the majority of them in the U.S., according to the International Shark Attack File.

At least 33 confirmed unprovoked shark attacks have been reported in the Bahamas since 1580, with the island ranking ninth worldwide, according to the file.

Tiger Shark, Bahamas

A shark off the Bahamas, Grand Bahama Island. (Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild via Getty Images/File)

The Nassau Guardian newspaper reported that authorities in the Bahamas are still searching for a German woman who went missing late last month after she was attacked while diving.

Last year, a shark killed a U.S. cruise ship passenger from Pennsylvania who was snorkeling in the northern Bahamas near Green Cay.


Most shark attacks in the Caribbean occur in the Bahamas, although a rare shark attack was reported in the French Caribbean territory of St. Martin three years ago.