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Shark bites off Connecticut woman’s leg in Turks and Caicos

A Connecticut woman lost her leg after she was bitten during a shark attack in Turks and Caicos.

The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force said the 22-year-old woman was attacked around 3 p.m. local time Wednesday while snorkeling with a friend near the Blue Haven Resort around Grace Bay Beach in Providenciales, according to a news release.

An employee of the resort called for an ambulance and reported the woman “had her leg bitten off by a shark.” The woman was taken to the Cheshire Hall Medical Centre and remains in serious condition, police said.

It’s unclear how the woman and her friend made it back to shore after the attack. It’s also unknown what type of shark attacked her, but gray reef sharks, nurse sharks and lemon sharks are common in the area. According to Visit Turks and Caicos Islands, there were only three recorded shark attacks on the islands and before Wednesday and none had resulted in loss of life or limbs.

A number of fatal shark attacks have already occurred in 2023. Nearly two weeks ago, an Australian surfer was attacked by a shark and his body was not recovered.

According to the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File, there were 57 unprovoked shark bites around the world last year. Five resulted in death.

Most unprovoked shark bites occur in the U.S. According to experts, shark attacks on humans are often a case of mistaken identity due to their relatively poor eyesight.

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