by Clive Bacchus
St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): A female Ross University student said to be from Texas, received emergency surgery at the Alexandra Hospital after being bitten on the leg by a shark near Booby Island on Saturday (January 9) between 9:00-10:00 am.
Director of the St Kitts and Nevis Marine Resources, Mr. Marc Williams told the St. Maarten Herald that the injured student and another female student were kayaking and swimming near Bobby Island when the incident occurred.
“The Marine Resources Department has asked the doctors to see if they can take a DNA swab from the leg in order to identify the type of shark to see if it is the same species that caused the death of the female tourist in December in [French – Ed.] St. Martin,” Williams told the Herald.
“The Department will be obtaining clarity on the speed of the rescue and whether Coast Guard patrols were already in the vicinity of the accident. The students’ itinerary was also not clear: whether they had departed from Major’s Bay and were heading to Oualie Beach on Nevis or whether they had departed from Turtle Beach to Booby Island, ” he added.
WINN understands that the student was found on a kayak when the coast guard arrived on the scene. The Department of Marine Resources issued a statement on Saturday (Jan. 9) that it was receiving an increase in reports of shark and human interaction within the country’s exclusive economic zone and advised “users of the ocean to be extremely cautious when using the marine environment.”
Mr. Williams told the Herald that two sharks were sighted chasing a stingray in October 2020, just three miles away from Saturday’s incident involving the student.
The St. Maarten Herald reported that a French tourist was fatally injured by shark bites in St. Martin while swimming in Orient Bay on Thursday, December 10.
A statement from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine advised students to stay away from the area and to exercise caution when swimming in general.