An Italian tourist perished in the seas off a gorgeous Caribbean island after being bitten by a terrifying shark attack.
The guy was attacked by the 8ft beast while snorkelling off the shore of the Colombian island of San Andres. He was first identified as Antonio Roseto Degli Abruzzi, but has since been renamed Antonio Straccialini in Italy.
On Friday, March 18, the 56-year-old from Roseto degli Abruzzi, on the east coast of central Italy, was bitten in the thigh at a popular snorkelling spot called La Piscinita.
Before being carried to the hospital, he was seen laying on his back with blood streaming from his wound in graphic photographs shared by the local press and on social media.
Due to the blood loss, he fell into shock and died shortly after the incident.
The occurrence was reported as a first in an area that is densely packed with hotels and dive centres and is considered one of the island’s top snorkelling spots.
‘There are diving programmes with professionals in which sharks pass nearby, but nothing has ever happened,’ claimed an island government spokesman.
‘We are all quite astonished,’ said Mirla Zambrano, a 50-year-old diving instructor. It’s the first time at San Andres that a shark has attacked a visitor.’
The assault was attributed to a tiger shark, which is second only to the great white shark in terms of reported fatal events involving people, despite the fact that they are still extremely rare.
Videos circulating on social media show two largely nocturnal hunters suspected of being engaged in Friday’s tragedy swimming in the clear water where the Italian tourist drowned.
‘Anyone are really concerned about what occurred, and they are not allowing people to get into the sea,’ said marine biologist Rodrigo Lopez.
‘A witness stated the guy who was attacked was an excellent swimmer who had been in the water for a long time, and when he went further out a second time after returning to shore, he began to call for assistance and was surrounded by blood,’ according to the witness.
‘He was on his own,’ said Mauricio Valdonado, who risked his life swimming out to bring the visitor back to land.
La Piscinita, or Little Swimming Pool in English, receives its name from the calm water and the rock structure that gives it the appearance of a natural pool surrounded by cliffs.
On Tripadvisor, visitors describe it as a “wonderful area to swim with the fish.”
‘A great location,’ one person commented following a recent trip. A nice area to jump in and spend a minute in the water because the water is quite clear and warm.’
San Andres, located about 470 miles north of the Colombian peninsula, is a Colombian territory with historical ties to the United Kingdom.
In the 17th century, English immigrants from Barbados and England arrived in San Andres and the neighbouring island of Providence.
Sir Henry Morgan, a Welsh privateer, used it as a base of operations in 1670.
The islands were in English possession until 1787, following a failed Spanish assault in 1635.