Woman mauled to death by great white shark on morning swim

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A woman has been mauled to death by a great white shark while out for an early morning swim.

The 39-year-old was torn to pieces in a horrific attack while on holiday to celebrate a Bank Holiday weekend, it has been claimed.

The woman had not ventured beyond the shallow water when she was brutally attacked by the ocean-based predator, which had raced from the deep waters to launch the savage attack.

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It is believed that she was not far away from another group of swimmers at the time of the deadly attack, and had been on the edge of the group as the shark bit into her.

The National Sea Rescue Institute was called as screaming swimmers cleared the waters of Plettenberg Bay, South Africa, just before 8am.

A rescue craft had been launched in an attempt to save the woman, but arrived too late to save the 39-year-old, with her blood soaked body found roughly 50 feet from shore.

Officials at Central Beach have since closed the area and put up warning signs to ward people off of entering the water.

The woman was believed to have been holidaying around Plettenberg Bay and is the third person in the past 11 years to fall victim to a vicious great white shark attack in the area.

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An eye witness was reported by The Mirror, saying: "It was a bit cloudy but there was some sun out and there were quite a few people taking an early dip as the temperature was quite warm.

"Then I just heard lots of screaming and saw people running out the water. I guessed it was a shark attack but I was quite a way away and then the lifeboat turned up.

"I then heard a woman had been attacked while swimming only two or three waves out so it was quite shallow but it was said nothing could be done to help her."

Bitou Municipality Mayor David Swart said: "We have never had a fatality at Plettenberg until 2011 and now we have had three with two in the last three months.

"There seems to be no change in the shark’s behaviour in this area so it is a bit of a mystery why we have had three fatal attacks in such a short space of time."

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