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09th Jun 2023

Dad describes horror of watching his son get killed by shark as he begged him to ‘save me’

Steve Hopkins

The victim could be heard calling out to his dad to save him

The dad of a man killed by a shark near an Egyptian tourist resort has told of the horror of watching his son be killed by this “meat grinder” in seconds.

The victim, who has been named in media reports as Vladimir Popov, died in the sea at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Hurghada on Thursday, according to Russia’s Consulate General in the city and two Egyptian security sources.

The entire attack was captured on video and is circulating on social media.

It shows the 23-year-old screaming out, “papa, save me”, as he thrashes in the water and is dragged below the surface. Onlookers can be heard gasping in anguish as the chilling scene plays out meters from their boat.

Popov’s father, Yury Popov, told the 112 media outlet that the family had gone “to the beach to relax”.

“My son was attacked by a shark, it all happened in seconds. What kind of help can you give? This meat grinder happened in 20 seconds, he was just dragged under the water.”

Popov said the attack was “absolutely ridiculous coincidence, because it is a safe beach”.

“There are ships and yachts around. It’s never happened there. They usually attack on wild beaches. It’s just some kind of evil fate.”

Footage has also since emerged of the shark being caught by fishermen, who drag it ashore.

A diver who arrived at the scene moments after the attack said people rushed to help the victim but were unable to reach him in time.

One witness told Russia state RED-TV: “It all happened in a second. Rescuers reacted very quickly. For some reason, I immediately felt that it was a shark. I immediately jumped up and started shouting: ‘Sharks, sharks. Save yourself! Nobody understood yet.”

Shark attacks are rare in the Red Sea coastal regions.

However, in 2022 there were two fatal attacks in Hurghada within days, killing an Austrian and a Romanian tourist.

Egypt’s Red Sea resorts, including Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh, boast some of the country’s most renowned beach destinations and are popular with European tourists. Divers are attracted by the steep drop-offs of coral reefs just offshore, which offer a rich and colourful sea life.

Following the incident, Egypt’s Environment Ministry issued a statement, in which they said a tiger shark was responsible for the attack.

The statement read: “Investigation work has been completed, and the Red Sea Reserves confirmed that there was an attack by a tiger shark on a beach pioneer, leading to his death.”

It explained that the shark had since been captured by authorities, and a ban on swimming and water sports activities had been put in place across several beaches nearby.

A follow-up statement added: “Dr. Yasmin Fouad, the Minister of the Environment, directed the staff specialised in managing the shark attack incident on a pioneer of Hurghada beaches, to apply all policies applied globally to achieve maximum levels of safety for Red Sea shores and to take all possible measures to avoid the repetition of the shark attack incident again.”

The minister continued: “In light of abnormal shark behaviour causing the incident and previous fact that there have been incidents of attacks on humans by this species in the past, the fishing team examined the fish that caused the incident to examine it to find out possible causes for the attack and whether it was [the] same fish that caused previous accidents.”

The Ministry of the Environment also warned citizens and shores of the Red Sea to “comply with instructions and regulations organised to deal with natural resources in the Red Sea for their safety”.

Related links:

Man mauled to death by shark at Egyptian tourist resort

Teen jumps off jetski to swim with dolphins and gets killed by shark in river attack

Woman attacked by shark off UK coast only has nice things to say about her attacker

Swimmer bitten by a shark off the coast of Britain