CDWS statement update (3 December 2010 14:00)

News  Details

CDWS statement update (3 December 2010 14:00)

CDWS statement update (3 December 2010 14:00)

03 December 2010

Press release

CDWS statement update (3 December 2010 14:00): CDWS members and staff conduct exploratory dives along Sharm el Sheikh coast.


On Thursday 2  December two sharks were caught by the South Sinai National Park on the Sharm el Sheikh coast. The National Park is currently studying the results of an autopsy and a detailed study of photographic evidence. No further details have been provided by the South Sinai National Park, headed by Dr Mohammed Salem, with regards to this operation or reasons why the animals could not be relocated to remote waters as was previously suggested.


Recent reports from doctors in Cairo indicate that the condition of the three injured snorkelers – two females from Russia and one male from the Ukraine – remains unchanged. One of the victims is still in a critical condition.


Late on 2 December the Ministry of Tourism ordered the closure of all beaches and dive sites along the Sharm el Sheikh coastline, with the exception of Ras Mohamed National park on Friday 3 December.


CDWS has monitored the situation closely and will continue to work with shark experts and authorities to determine why the three attacks happened. CDWS chairman Hesham Gabr is echoing his previous statement that people should remain calm and that this was an extremely rare incident.


CDWS would like to clearly state that as an organisation it does not wish to see any harm to any further sharks. Therefore, Hesham Gabr acquired the approval of both the Minister of Tourism and the Governor of South Sinai to allow exploratory dives to take place today, Friday 3 December, where photographic evidence and details of any sightings can be recorded and reported back to the Ministry of Tourism.


At this time, six groups are currently in the water, each with two photographers, monitoring an area from Near Garden, Naama Bay to Ras Nasrani, Nabq. It is hoped that as a result of these exploratory dives, CDWS will report the dive sites safe and advise the Ministry of Tourism to declare the area open to divers, snorkelers and bathers tomorrow, Saturday 4 December.


Mr Gabr: ‘This incident has clearly shocked our community and the CDWS is continuing its investigation into why this may have happened. It is clear from our initial discussions with shark behavioural experts that this highly unusual spate of attacks by an oceanic white tip shark was triggered by an activity, most probably illegal fishing or feeding in the area. Once again, our thoughts go out the victims and their families at this time.’




For further information please contact Laura Coppa, PR Co-ordinator by email


For any further information about the South Sinai National Park, contact Dr Mohammed Salem by email:




Figures from the International Shark File, which has a global database dating back to 1580, show that there have only been nine reports of attacks by oceanic white tip sharks on humans since records began. Of these attacks, five were registered as ‘unprovoked’, three ‘provoked’ and only one fatal.


Official statement from the Shark Trust:


Richard Peirce, the chairman of the Shark Trust in the UK, said: ‘The Shark Trust understands that the animal thought to be responsible for the attack in Sharm el Sheikh is an oceanic white tip shark. It is probable that the tragic attacks were triggered by a specific activity or event, and the Trust further understands that the Egyptian authorities are carrying out investigations. Attacks on humans by sharks are extremely rare and this species would normally not be found close to shore on bathing beaches. The Trust has been informed that a single animal is thought to be responsible for all three incidents and that attempts are being made to catch the shark.’