Officials: New York City Woman Killed In Maine Shark Attack

WCBS 880 Newsroom
July 28, 2020 - 12:39 pm
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BAILEY ISLAND, Maine (WCBS 880) — Authorities in Maine say a New York City woman died in a rare shark attack off the state’s coast on Monday.

The Maine Department of Marine Resources say a great white shark attacked 63-year-old Julie Dimperio Holowach off Bailey Island while she was swimming in the water.

According to authorities, two kayakers on the shore saw the woman swimming when she was bitten. They then paddled out to help her get back to shore.

An ambulance provided further assistance, but she ultimately died of the injuries she sustained, the marine patrol said.

“They happened to be right there at the scene. They were courageous enough to jump in and retrieve the victim,” Jeff Cooper, co-owner H2Outfitters on the island – which offers instruction, rentals and sales of kayaks – told the Associated Press.

The rescuers asked not to be identified by the press.

According to authorities, there had previously only been one recorded unprovoked shark attack in Maine. 

Scientists identified the type of shark that was involved in the attack using a tooth fragement.

Great whites are not common in Maine, but the Associated Press reports recent summers have brought reports of sightings of the giant fish.

The attacked happened on the same day that Long Island beaches were shut down for swimming after several bull sharks were spotted off of Lido Beach around 11 a.m.

While no injuries were reported in New York, lifeguards warned that bull sharks can be incredibly dangerous.

Long Beach's Chief of Lifeguards Paul Gillespie told WCBS 880 bull sharks can be 14-feet long and have been known to attack.

"They will attack you, they don't let anything get in their way. With thresher sharks, basically they'll eat because they're hungry, but the bull sharks will attack you," Gillespie said, adding that he went to a seminar two years ago where he learned more sharks would be coming to the Long Island area because the water is warming up.

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