Bahamas diving adventure company launches investigation after shark attack on US boy

A diving adventure company in the Bahamas has launched an internal investigation after a shark attacked a 10-year-old boy.

Blue Adventures by Stuart Cove was operating the expedition in a shark tank at a local resort on Paradise Island when the boy was bitten by a shark.

Stuart Cove of Blue Adventures said in a statement that his company was cooperating with the police and the diving experience was temporarily closed down.

"Incidents like this involving interactions with marine life, even with the species of sharks included in this experience, are rare and never acceptable," he said.

The boy from Maryland who has not been identified was bitten on his right leg on Monday and was taken to hospital for treatment, Royal Bahamas Police Force said.

He was in serious but stable condition, police said, after he was airlifted to Maryland.

Mr Cove said a dive instructor and a dive guide were in the water when the shark attack occurred and that they provided immediate medical attention.

“We are deeply saddened that a child suffered a shark bite during an in-water experience on Monday,” he added.

He said the incident is the first of its kind since the experience began operating in 2006.

There are between 30 and 40 species of sharks that live in the waters around the Bahamas, according to Gavin Naylor, director of the International Shark Attack File in Florida.

The Caribbean reef shark, the bull shark, the tiger shark and the black tip shark were the most likely to bite, he said.

There were 57 unprovoked shark bites worldwide in 2022, with nine fatalities, according to the International Shark Attack File.

The Bahamas has seen 33 unprovoked shark attacks since 1749, according to the data.

In the US shark attacks are rare, and fatal incidents are even more unlikely. Eight shark encounters were reported in Hawaii in 2023, per NBC, but only one was fatal.

Last month, an American newlywed was killed by a shark the day after her wedding while paddle boarding in the Bahamas. The female victim, who was from Boston, tied the knot on Sunday and was attacked on Monday morning in waters less than a mile off the western end of New Providence Island.

In the same month, a 39-year-old surfer Jason Carter died after an encounter near the Paia Bay area of Maui.