A 21-year-old college student from California has died after she was attacked by three sharks while snorkeling with family in the Bahamas on Wednesday, according to reports.
Jordan Lindsey was swimming off the coast of Rose Island, northeast of Nassau, when she was ambushed in the water just after 2 p.m., local authorities said.
“She was so caring. She loved all animals. It’s ironic she would die getting attacked by a shark,” her father, Michael Lindsey, said in a statement obtained by NBC Los Angeles.
Her family saw the sharks before the attack and called out to warn her, but Lindsey didn’t hear them in time, Royal Bahamas Police Force Deputy Commissioner Paul Rolle told Local 10.
She was pulled from the water and taken to a hospital in New Providence where she was pronounced dead. Her injuries included bites to her arms, legs and buttocks as well as a severed right arm, Rolle said.
It’s not known what kind of sharks were involved in the attack, the Bahamas’ Ministry of Tourism said in a statement Thursday that expressed condolences to her family.
Jace Holton, who had been snorkeling in the same area less than an hour before the attack, snapped a photo of a fairly large shark swimming past her boat that was shared by her brother on social media.
Speaking to Los Angeles station KTLA, Holton recalled people rushing to help Lindsey without avail.
“Some of the people that were actually in the water at the time were describing how it was a pretty horrific scene,” she said. “Several of the workers ... had jumped in the water to help the girl.”
Lindsey was a communication studies major at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, the school’s president said.
In addition to being a “devoted animal lover and climate change advocate,” she was a member of the Tau Sigma National Honor Society and the university’s Entrepreneurship Society, said President Timothy Law Snyder.
Shark attacks are uncommon, and fatal ones are extremely rare.
The global average of shark attack fatalities is just six per year, according to the International Shark Attack Files (ISAF), a project of the Florida Museum of Natural History and the American Elasmobranch Society that documents shark attacks.
The Bahamas, which had a single, nonfatal attack last year, has had just 28 shark attacks since the mid-1700s, according to the ISAF.