Shark rips leg off tourist in horrific beach attack in front of five-year-old


The beach on the Mexican coast has been closed

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George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 04/12/2023

- 11:13

The tourist was swimming in the Mexican Pacific coast

A tourist has died after having her leg bitten off by a shark in front of her child in Mexico.

The woman was helped out of the water at Melaque, on the country’s Pacific coast.

A video that was circulated on social media showed the victim lying on the sand after being helped out of the water.

In the video, onlookers could be heard shouting: "She’s lost her leg."

A beach

The beach has been closed (stock image)


Mexican emergency services were called to the team. Sadly, the woman died of blood loss from the massive bite wound.

She has now been identified locally as a 26-year-old tourist called Maria Fernandez Martinez Jimenez. Her daughter escaped injury despite being beside her in the water.

The incident took place on the Pacific coast around 450 miles north-west of Acapulco.

Local reports said she was becoming aware her was in danger and helped the child to safety by placing her on a floating play platform.



Tributes have been paid at the beach

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Civil Protection workers and firefighters in the municipality of Cihuatlan, which includes Melaque Beach, said in a message after the incident: "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.

"When they reached the area they discovered a woman who was lifeless with one of her legs amputated, apparently following a shark attack."

Cihuatlan’s municipal government said: ‘"Following the terrible incident off one of our beaches, our priority is guaranteeing the safety and wellbeing of all our citizens.

"That’s why we’ve decided on a precautionary measure of banning access to beaches until further notice."

The attack on Saturday morning is said to have occurred just 65 feet from the shoreline as a swimming race was taking place.

The dead woman is believed to be a former marine biology student at the University of Guadalajara.

In a Facebook tribute, university chiefs said they shared the pain of the victim’s friends and family, adding: "We express our condolences following this irreparable loss."

Well-wishers later left flowers for the victim at the spot where she died on the beach.

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