Police: Shark kills Pennsylvania woman snorkeling in Bahamas

Harrowing moment paramedics try to revive Pennsylvania woman, 58, who was fatally bitten by a bull shark while swimming with her husband and kids at popular snorkeling spot in the Bahamas

By PAUL FARRELL FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

A shark attacked and killed a U.S. cruise ship passenger who was snorkeling in waters around the Bahamas on Tuesday, according to authorities.

The Pennsylvania woman who was killed by a shark while snorkeling around the Bahamas with her family was identified Wednesday as a Gannon University employee.

Caroline DiPlacido, 58, of Millcreek Township, worked as a project coordinator at the campus in Erie when she died on the water excursion Tuesday, university officials said.

A 1986 graduate of the university, DiPlacido returned to campus in 2009 as a secretary for marketing and communications.

As a project coordinator, DiPlacido was active in the university’s Erie-G.A.I.N.S. Initiative and the Our West Bayfront organization.

“Caroline was a powerful presence of kindness and friendship,” said Gannon University chaplain Michael Kesicki.

“The news in devastating, and she will be missed.”

Caroline DiPlacido was on a family vacation when she was fatally attacked by a bull shark.

Caroline DiPlacido was on a family vacation when she was fatally attacked by a bull shark.

Facebook/Caroline DiPlacido

In addition to her husband, David, DiPlacido leaves behind three children and her mother, as well as extended family and a wide network of friends.

Several of DiPlacido’s relatives declined to comment on the tragedy.

It occurred at a popular snorkeling spot near Green Cay in the northern Bahamas, police spokeswoman Chief Superintendent Chrislyn Skippings told The Associated Press.

‘It´s unfortunate,’ she said. The beach where the woman was killed has been closed indefinitely by officials.

Skippings said the woman´s family identified it as a bull shark. Local media aired footage that showed member’s of the woman’s family grief stricken as she was brought back to the shore.

According to Eyewitness News, the woman was with a group of five to seven other passengers when she was attacked just before 2 pm.

Skippings told the network that the woman suffered injuries to her ‘upper extremities.’

Local news media caught the dramatic moments as rescue workers attempted to save the woman's life

Local news media caught the dramatic moments as rescue workers attempted to save the woman’s life

Officials have said that the woman suffered injuries to her 'upper extremities'

Officials have said that the woman suffered injuries to her ‘upper extremities’




The Bahamas has a variety of shark species, the majority of which do not pay attention to people, except for bull sharks and tiger sharks

The Bahamas has a variety of shark species, the majority of which do not pay attention to people, except for bull sharks and tiger sharks

The operators of the tour were able to drag the woman back on to the boat, from there she was rushed back to short.

Sadly, she was pronounced dead prior to her arrival at a local hospital.

Royal Caribbean International said in a statement to the AP that the person died after arriving at a local hospital for treatment and that the company is helping their loved ones.

They said the guest was participating in an independent shore excursion in Nassau and had been sailing on Harmony of the Seas, which is on a seven-night trip after departing from Port Canaveral, Florida, on Sunday.

Finley Downer, 8, was in The Bahamas with his family in August on an excursion to the protected harbor Compass Cay when the horrific attack happened

Finley Downer, 8, was in The Bahamas with his family in August on an excursion to the protected harbor Compass Cay when the horrific attack happened

Downer's father said his children saw a shiver of sharks swimming in a nearby lagoon later in the trip next to a crowd of holidaymakers and went over - unaware they were feeding on scraps being thrown to them

Downer’s father said his children saw a shiver of sharks swimming in a nearby lagoon later in the trip next to a crowd of holidaymakers and went over – unaware they were feeding on scraps being thrown to them




It’s the second shark attack in the space of a month.

In August, a British schoolboy was savaged by three sharks while he was on a family vacation in the Caribbean after tourists ‘started chucking their lunch into the water’.

Finley Downer, 8, was in The Bahamas with his family last week on an excursion to the protected harbor Compass Cay when the horrific attack happened.

Downer’s father told how his son was left with ‘huge chunks of flesh hanging off both legs’ in scenes he described as being like movie Jaws.

He believes Finley only survived the horror attack because a nurse was among the tourists who helped stem the blood and he was able to pay for a private plane to take the stricken youngster to the hospital for life-saving surgery.

The majority of shark attacks in the Caribbean have occurred in the Bahamas, with two reported in 2019, one of them fatal.

Jordan Lindsay was killed in an horrific attack in 2019 as her right arm was torn off and she suffered bites to her left arm, both legs and buttocks.

Police believe there were three sharks involved

Jordan Lindsay was killed in an horrific attack in 2019 as her right arm was torn off and she suffered bites to her left arm, both legs and buttocks. Police believe there were three sharks involved




That incident involved a Southern California college student named Jordan Lindsay, 21, who was on vacation and was attacked by three sharks near Rose Island, located just a half mile from where Tuesday´s attack occurred.

Similar to Tuesday’s incident, Lindsay was also snorkeling with family members when she was killed.

In December 2020, a fatal shark attack was reported in the French Caribbean territory of St. Martin, the first such incident in that region.

Overall, at least 32 shark attacks have been reported in the Bahamas since 1749, followed by 13 attacks in Cuba during that time period, including one in 2019, according to the Florida-based International Shark Attack File.

Overall, at least 32 shark attacks have been reported in the Bahamas since 1749

Overall, at least 32 shark attacks have been reported in the Bahamas since 1749

The location where the woman was attacked and killed on September 6 has been closed indefinitely for swimming, officials said

The location where the woman was attacked and killed on September 6 has been closed indefinitely for swimming, officials said




Michael Heithaus, a marine biologist at Florida International University in Miami, said in a phone interview that the high number of attacks in the Bahamas is likely linked to the fact that there are a lot of people in the water in that area and that it has a robust marine ecosystem.

He said the Bahamas has a variety of shark species, the majority of which do not pay attention to people, except for bull sharks and tiger sharks.

‘They get to very large sizes, and they eat big prey,’ Heithaus said, adding that sharks have incredible sensory systems and can be attracted to food, sounds, and smells in the water.

But overall, shark attacks remain rare, he stressed.




Worldwide, there were 137 shark attacks last year, 73 of them unprovoked, according to the International Shark Attack File.

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