A day after an American woman visiting The Bahamas was killed following a shark attack, the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources yesterday issued a public advisory for swimmers on New Providence.
“The public is advised to exercise extreme caution in and around the waters of New Providence, adjacent islands and cays, in particular the areas of northern shoreline of New Providence, the northeastern shoreline of Paradise Island, Rose Island and along the Montagu Foreshore,” the ministry’s statement said.
“The public is further advised to avoid the cleaning or discarding of fish waste in the water as this practice attracts sharks into areas often utilized for swimming by the public and our guests.
“Further, if a shark is seen in the swimming area, persons are advised to leave the water and in no circumstance molest or play with the animal.
“Also, if injured and bleeding while in the water, it is recommended that you leave the water as sharks are attracted to blood.”
Police said the woman, identified as Jordan Lindsey of Torrance, of California, was snorkeling with relatives in waters off Rose Island shortly after 2 p.m on Wednesday, when she was attacked by three sharks.
She died in hospital.
The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) yesterday offered condolences to the family and noted that the incident was not a normal event.
“Fatal attacks are particularly rare, especially in The Bahamas,” the BNT said in a statement.
“The International Shark Attack File has noted that based on their 2000 data, we have a 1 in 11.5 million chance of being bitten by a shark.”
The BNT noted that a healthy shark population is a sign of a healthy ecosystem.
“Human-wildlife conflict is a very sensitive topic as human life is the most important aspect to protect and the loss of a life is devastating,” the BNT said.
“The typical response is often a call for retaliation, but the BNT urges the public to not resort to killing sharks as a response to this incident.
“We encourage the public to enter the water with care and avoid disturbing large predators to ensure that we keep both people and wildlife safe.”
Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas, a popular Bahamian excursion company that specializes in underwater adventures – including shark dives, yesterday expressed concern over the practice of chumming in the excursion areas, which often attract sharks.
“When it comes to the experience that the guests [want], if they come here to snorkel or to see sharks or to do what we would call an observation tour of sharks, we are strictly totally against chumming,” said the company’s manager, Hartman Rolle.
“However, chumming can come in so many different forms because we have local fishermen, we have local persons, who would be spear fishing and that kind of activity there is in itself [a risk].
“These are apex predators that feed mainly off fish and dying fish as well. Definitely in terms of fishing off from the shoreline, or chumming off the shoreline, that’s not one of the practices that Stuart Cove would condone.”
Rolle noted that while the company did not see any impact to their operation yesterday, it’s unclear what may happen in the future.
“We just hope everybody plays their role and do what they can just to keep things safe,” he added.
“Swimming, sun, sand and sea is the product we are known for, so a lot of people come here to come in the water.”
The family of Lindsey has set up a GoFundMe page to aid in her funeral costs.
“Jordan Lindsey was a beloved daughter, sister, girlfriend, and friend,” the page reads.
“On June 26, 2019, Jordan was tragically killed from a shark attack in The Bahamas.
“Jordan had the most beautiful, gentle soul and she will be missed deeply.
“Jordan’s body needs to be transported from The Bahamas back to her home of California, which is very expensive.
“This GoFundMe is being set up to help Jordan’s family pay for any travel and funeral expenses for Jordan’s body.
“Any amount helps and part of the money raised will be going to the Gentle Barn in California, because Jordan loved the Gentle Barn and would have wanted them to have help too.”
Up to yesterday, the page had already garnered almost $40,000 in donations.
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications