Nurse Attacked by Shark While Snorkelling on Holiday

A nurse on holiday had a terrifying encounter with a shark while snorkelling, resulting in serious injuries to her right leg.

Delia Yriarte, a US national originally from Mexico, was observing marine species in the waters off Mosquera, a small islet in the Galapagos Islands, on July 4th when the attack occurred.

Yriarte described feeling numb and then seeing a significant amount of blood in the water. Footage shows her being carried off a dinghy with her leg wrapped in material. She later exercised her right leg with the assistance of a doctor after her wounds were stitched up.

Dr. Renato Pacheco, from Hospital República del Ecuador on Santa Cruz Island, reported that Yriarte is stable and conscious, and she underwent surgery on her right leg. Fortunately, she did not lose her leg and did not experience a loss of consciousness or mobility.

The Ecuadorian Navy transported the injured woman from Santa Cruz Island to San Cristóbal Island before transferring her to the mainland city of Guayaquil via a military plane.

Yriarte recalled feeling a blow but initially not realizing what had happened. She noticed her leg going numb while swimming and saw a significant amount of blood when she turned around. By the time she reached the beach, she was feeling drained and knew she had a deep and bleeding wound.

Yriarte did not see the shark that bit her leg during the incident.

The Galapagos Islands, located approximately 600 miles off the Ecuadorian coast, are known for their ecological diversity and played a significant role in Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. Designated as a Natural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 1979, the islands attract tourists seeking to observe whales, sharks, and other wildlife.

In a previous incident in 2018, British businessman Andrew Newman was attacked by a shark while observing sea lions off Santa Fe Island. Newman managed to fend off the 3.5-meter-long shark using his GoPro camera until he was able to escape.

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