A young mother swimming off Mexico’s pacific coast was killed while saving her 5-year-old daughter from a shark, which bit off the woman’s leg, causing her to bleed out on the beach.
Shark attack in Mexico
A distressing video was shared on social media showing the shark attack victim sprawled out on the sand in the town of Melaque on Saturday, Dec. 2, after being carried from the Pacific Ocean to safety by rescuers.
‘She’s lost her leg,’ onlookers could be heard saying in the video.
The woman has been identified locally as 26-year-old Maria Fernandez Martinez Jimenez, a former marine biology student at the University of Guadalajara, who lived in the area in the western state of Jalisco.
Details of the attack
Jimenez was in the ocean with her daughter when she apparently became aware of a shark in the water and rushed to boost the girl onto a floating play platform located 75 feet from the shore, said Rafael Araiza, the head of the local civil defense office.
The mom had just managed to get her 5-year-old out of harm’s way when the shark clamped its jaws around her leg near the hip.
Despite a quick response by rescuers, Jimenez died of blood loss from the massive wound, Ariaza confirmed. Her daughter escaped unharmed.
The harrowing incident occurred while a swimming race was taking place nearby, Civil Protection officials in the municipality of Cihuatlan stated.
‘Our officials were carrying out support activities during a swimming event in the bay when they received reports of a person who was having problems getting out of the sea,’ the statement read.
‘When they reached the area they discovered a woman who was lifeless with one of her legs amputated, apparently following a shark attack.’
Authorities closed the beaches in Melaque and the nearby town of Barra de Navidad to swimming as a precaution.