Friday, in the Colombian Caribbean island of San Andrés, 56 year old Italian tourist Antonio Roseto Degli died after being attacked by a shark while swimming in the popular swimming attraction known as “LaPisicinita” (above photo) on the island’s southeast coast. La Piscinita is a popular tourist area with waters approximately 10 meters deep with a water slide and life vest rentals for visitors.
Other swimmers quickly came to Degli’s aid, pulling him out of the ocean and taking him to the local hospital, but his injuries were mortal. Local diving instructor Mirla Zambrano says this is the first ever reported shark attack in San Andrés.
Locals suspect the victim was attacked by either a tiger or bull shark. The archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina are extremely dependent on tourism, and the islands are keen to recover from the economic devastation of the COVID travel bans, and the physical devastation of Hurricane Iota, that battered Providencia and Santa Catalina in November of 2020.
The odds of dying from a shark attack are 1 in 3,748,068, compared to 1 in 79,746 for death by lightning.
In 2018, 1.24 million people died from car crashes, compared to only 130 shark incidents (provoked and unprovoked) worldwide. Fewer shark attacks were reported in 2015 and 2016 than deaths related to people taking selfies.
Shark attacks are extremely rare. The last fatal shark attack in Central America was 2011, and the last shark fatality in South America was 2018 in Brazil. In any year, there are approximately 80 shark attacks worldwide, and 4.3 fatalities. The US currently leads the world with 47 bites and 1 fatality in 2021, and Florida leads the US.
Footage of the actual shark that killed the swimmer
En este video se ve al tiburón que atacó al turista en S. Andrés, expertos señalan que el animal está en su habitat natural en busca de comida la cual está escasa por la pesca exagerada. En la isla ya se habla de crear un grupo de caza de tiburones. pic.twitter.com/BGS4rUXipu
— Juan Carlo Giraldo (@JcarloGiraldor) March 18, 2022
Above photo, La Piscinita, San Andrés © Loren Moss
Bull shark headline image by Chaloklum Diving – http://eol.org/data_objects/31319652, CC BY 3.0