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On Monday, July 27, 2020, a woman swimming off the coast of Maine was attacked and killed from a suspected shark attack. Julie Dimperio Holowach, a 63-year-old from New York City lost her life when a great white shark attacked her. According to the statement from the Maine Department of Marine Resources, the attack took place in Casco Bay, near Harpswell, Maine.
The statement described how the victim was brought to shore by a couple of “Kayakers.” Emergency Medical “responders were called to the scene where she was pronounced deceased.”
Holowach’s attacker was confirmed by a tooth that had been left behind. Authorities have raised the alarm and warn pedestrians of sharks in the area. This is the first death from a shark attack ever recorded in Maine. People need to be cautious of areas where sharks maybe swimming. Areas, where there are high amounts of seals and fishes, are perfect feeding grounds for the great white sharks.
Commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources, Patrick Keliher stated that it was Massachusetts’ top shark expert who confirmed the identification of the culprit. Keliher stated that Greg Skomal was checking the data on all of the great white sharks that have been tagged in Massachusetts to see if any of them were in Maine’s waters.
Keliher stresses this attack “is a highly unusual event.” On witness went on record describing the horrific scene he saw. Tom Whyte had been looking out his second-story office window when he saw two swimmers heading out into the water on a hot afternoon.
Whyte said that one of the swimmers was wearing a blue one-piece swimsuit and the other was in a black wet suit. All was fine and dandy until the swimmer in the swimsuit was pulled under, arms flailing. The woman in the blue suit turned back to her friend and immediately swam for the shore screaming for help.
Neighbors came rushing to the woman’s aid, who was uninjured, as they all stood helpless against the shark. Whyte said that there was “A million scenarios,” running through his head. Never in a million years would he have thought it was this type of attack.
According to the global database of shark attacks (called the International Shark Attack File), there has only been one unprovoked shark attack in the state of Maine. This attack was recorded in 2010. In the 2010 report, it describes how a commercial diver was working in the Bay of Fundy. A porbeagle shark mistook the diver’s camera for food and attacked. The shark attack was caught on film.
By Sheena Robertson
Boston Globe: Great white shark seen as culprit in deadly Maine attack; victim identified as 63-year-old woman from New York City
CNN: Woman killed in an apparent shark attack in Maine
Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Bernard DUPONT’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License