A woman was killed in an apparent shark attack off the coast of Maine on Monday in what may be the first fatal shark attack in the state’s history, CBS affiliate WGME-TV reports. Maine Marine Patrol said A witness saw the woman swimming off the shore of Bailey Island when she was injured in a shark attack.
On Tuesday, the Maine Department of Marine Resources identified the victim as 63-year-old Julie Dimperio Holowach from CBS Boston, New York City. Officials said that after the attack, swimming in waist-deep or shallow waters at Poughham and Reed State Park is prohibited, WGME reported.
Marine Patrol said two cancers helped shore up the person, and an ambulance provided further assistance, but was pronounced dead.
The woman’s name was not available until late Monday.
Only one recorded shark attack has been recorded in Maine, New England shark expert James Sulikowski told the Portland Press Herald. Sulikowski, who did research for Arizona State University, said it is possible that the shark mistook the person for food.
“We could easily be mistaken for a seal … as a shark eater,” he told the newspaper.
The State Marine Patrol is urging swimmers and sailors to take precautions near Bailey Island and avoid swimming near school fish or seals.