A German woman who lost her arm in a shark attack died yesterday, a week after she was bitten while snorkelling off Maui, Hawaii.
Jana Lutteropp, 20, who had been on life support, died at Maui Memorial Medical Centre, hospital spokeswoman Carol Clark said.
“Jana fought hard to stay alive,” said a statement from her mother and sister, which was released by Ms Clark. “However, we are sad to say that she lost her fight today.”
Ms Lutteropp was snorkelling up to 100 yards off Palauea Beach at the resort community of Makena when the shark bit off her right arm.
A school teacher visiting from California jumped into the water after hearing her screaming and seeing blood in the surf. Rick Moore, 57, said Ms Lutteropp went in and out of consciousness and kept repeating that she was going to die.
It it not known what type of shark bit her. State officials investigating the attack said witnesses did not see it.
“Jana was a very beautiful, strong, young woman who was always laughing, and we will forever remember her that way,” said the statement from her mother, Jutta Lutteropp and sister, Julia Broeske.
“We appreciate all the support from the Maui community, as well as the prayers and thoughts from around the world and in Germany,” they said.
The head of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, the agency responsible for Hawaii’s waters, said he was deeply saddened to learn of Ms Lutterop’s death.
“As an island state, we are aware that we are all visitors in the natural environment that surrounds us, and that unfortunate incidents such as this one can occur,” William Aila said.
“We are committed to furthering research efforts that will help guide effective management actions in the interest of safety.”
Hawaii officials announced on Tuesday they plan to spend the next two years studying tiger shark movements around Maui amid what they call an unprecedented spike in overall shark attacks since the start of 2012.
There have been eight attacks statewide this year and 10 in 2012. Hawaii usually sees only three to four attacks each year.
The last time someone in Hawaii died from a shark attack was in 2004, when a tiger shark bit Willis McInnis in the leg while he was surfing off Maui. He suffered severe blood loss and died on the shore despite rescue efforts by beach-goers, police and paramedics. The last fatal attack before that was in 1992.
A woman was killed last month after being attacked while swimming in Brazil during her holiday.
Worldwide, there were seven deaths resulting from unprovoked shark attacks in 2012, including one in California, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida.