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Andrea Jaxson
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American woman killed in shark attack while snorkeling on vacation in the Bahamas

Authorities have confirmed that an American woman was killed in a shark attack while snorkeling with her family in the Bahamas on Tuesday afternoon.  According to the Royal Bahamas Police Force, the 58-year-old woman — along with four members of her family from the Lake Erie area of Pennsylvania — were on a snorkeling tour in the waters northwest of Rose Island when the victim was attacked by a bull shark shortly before 3 p.m. local time. The victim and her family had arrived in the Bahamas on Tuesday morning via Royal Caribbean’s cruise ship Harmony of the Seas.

Family members and tour operators attempted to rescue the woman but were unsuccessful. The victim suffered serious injuries to the left side of her body and was transported by the tour boat to nearby Fort Montagu on the eastern shore of New Providence island, where she was pronounced dead by emergency medical responders.

Royal Caribbean confirmed in a statement that the woman was a guest on their seven-night cruise, which set sail from Port Canaveral, Florida on Sunday. According to the cruise line, the victim and her family were on an “independent shore excursion” in Nassau when attacked by a shark and succumbed to her injuries at a local hospital. The company said in a statement:  “Royal Caribbean is providing support and assistance to the guest’s loved ones during this difficult time.”

The victim was identified by her employer as Caroline DiPlacido, project coordinator for the Office of Community and Government Relations at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania. The university said in a statement: “Caroline was a powerful presence of kindness and friendship to colleagues, students, and the wider community and cherished many family ties to Gannon. The news is devastating, and she will be missed.” DiPlacido is survived by her husband and three children, according to the school statement.

Editorial credit: Brookgardener /

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