A 26-year-old woman has tragically passed away after a shark attacked her, tearing off her leg while she was swimming with her five-year-old daughter on a Mexican beach near Melaque. The incident occurred on Saturday, not far from the shore in Melaque, situated just west of the seaport of Manzanillo, according to Rafael Araiza, the head of the local civil defense office.
The victim, identified as Maria Fernandez Martinez Jimenez, was in the water with her daughter when the shark attacked. Sensing danger, Maria tried to lift her child onto a floating platform in an effort to protect her. Remarkably, her daughter escaped unharmed despite being in close proximity in the water.
Graphic footage has emerged showing Maria lying on the sand with shocked onlookers gathering around. Witnesses could be heard exclaiming that she had lost her leg as they awaited the arrival of emergency responders. Despite prompt efforts by rescuers, Maria succumbed to blood loss from the severe bite wound on her leg.
Civil Protection workers and firefighters in the municipality of Cihuatlan, which includes Melaque Beach, reported, ”Our officials were engaged in support activities during a swimming event in the bay when they received reports of a person having difficulties leaving the sea. Upon reaching the area, they discovered a lifeless woman with one of her legs amputated, apparently due to a shark attack.”
In the aftermath, local authorities issued a warning advising both residents and visitors to avoid entering the water. A scheduled swimming race in the same area was canceled, and beaches in Melaque and Barra de Navidad were closed for swimming as a precaution.
The municipal government of Cihuatlan released a statement, saying, ”In the wake of this tragic incident on one of our beaches, our top priority is ensuring the safety and well-being of all our citizens. Therefore, we have decided, as a precautionary measure, to restrict access to beaches until further notice. We are collaborating with the relevant authorities to assess the situation and implement necessary measures to ensure security on our beaches.”