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Tourist killed by shark in popular snorkeling spot off Colombian island

Shark populations decimated around the world
New report claims sharks are "functionally extinct" in 20% of global regions studied 04:14

An Italian tourist died Friday after being attacked by a shark off the coast of Colombia's San Andres island in the Caribbean Sea, local media reported. The 56-year-old man, identified by Colombian press as Antonio Roseto Degli Abruzzi, was swimming near a cliff when he was bitten by the shark.

"Yes, he died," a senior Navy official, who asked to remain anonymous, told AFP.

The Teleislas channel said the unusual attack took place in an area known as "La Piscinita," a popular snorkeling area on the southwest side of San Andres, which is about 235 miles off the coast of Nicaragua.

Colombia's San Andres island. Daniel Torres/VWPics via AP

The shark attack occurred in an area with few swimmers, local media said.

Marine biologist Rodrigo Lopez told The Daily Mirror that "people are very worried" after the attack.

The Archipielago Press reported that a tiger shark was responsible for the attack and on Twitter posted video of sharks in the water.

"In the last two weeks, sharks have appeared in shallow waters north and south of San Andrés," the Archipielago Press said in the post.

Shark attacks increased around the world in 2021 following three consecutive years of decline, according to data released in January.  Researchers with the International Shark Attack File recorded 73 unprovoked incidents last year, compared to 52 bites in 2020, according to the report.

The U.S. again reported the most unprovoked shark bites in 2021, with 47 confirmed cases -- 64% of the worldwide total. Colombia reported no shark attacks last year, according to the International Shark Attack File.

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