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6 December 2010, 07:06
The Foreign Office has warned holidaymakers in an Egyptian resort to be on their guard following a string of shark attacks that have left several people seriously injured and one woman dead.
An elderly German tourist died after she was attacked by an oceanic white tip shark in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh a few days after three Russians and a Ukrainian tourist were badly mauled in similar attacks.
Officials said the tourist died immediately after her arm was bitten off by the shark while she was swimming at the resort, a renowned diving and vacation resort.
Thousands of British tourists flock to Sharm el-Sheikh each year, attracted by its balmy temperatures and crystal clear waters.
In response to the attacks the Foreign Office amended its travel advice for people visiting the area.
A statement on its website read: ``Attacks by oceanic white tip sharks are extremely rare and shark attacks of any kind are very unusual in the Red Sea.
``If you are considering diving or snorkelling in any of the Red Sea resorts be aware that safety standards of diving operators can vary considerably.
``A basic rule is never to dive or snorkel unaccompanied. Where possible make any bookings through your tour representative.
``Unusually cheap operators may not provide adequate safety and insurance standards.''
After the attacks authorities ordered people to stay out of the water around Sharm el-Sheikh.
On Thursday, the Environment Ministry said two sharks suspected of the maulings were caught.
A British tourist described witnessing one of the shark attacks at first hand.
Ellen Barnes, 31, of Horsham, West Sussex, told The Sun newspaper: ``The water was churning like I was in a washing machine. I was being thrown around in the blood.
``The shark was thrashing and tearing at this poor woman and I could barely keep my head above the water it was so choppy.''
The oceanic white tip shark is listed as vulnerable with the species declining rapidly due to overfishing.