‘I’ll never forget - it was like Jaws’

Ab Kettleby couple Neil and June Hammond soak up the sun in Sharm El Sheikh
Ab Kettleby couple Neil and June Hammond soak up the sun in Sharm El Sheikh
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A HOLIDAYMAKER described the pure panic and horror after witnessing a shark attack in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt.

Snorkelling enthusiast Neil Hammond, of Melton Road, Ab Kettleby, had been for a walk from the Baron Palms resort on December 1 and was on a promenade leading up to other hotel when the attack happened.

Mr Hammond said: “We saw a man walking off the beach whose foot was bleeding profusely. We didn’t know whether he had cut his foot on the coral, which could have brought the sharks in, or whether he had been bitten himself.

“All of a sudden we started to hear these screams and shouts. We looked out to the water and I noticed two swimmers swimming back towards the pontoon. They were going so fast it was like they were Olympic swimmers. Their hands were going around like windmills.

“Another man had been left out on his own in the water. Everyone was shouting and screaming and I could see the water was turning red. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the pure panic. It was horrific and just like the film Jaws.”

Neil watched as a semi-inflatable speedboat at the end of the pontoon quickly shot out to rescue the man while the crew of another boat shouted for people to get out of the water.

He was unaware there had also been shark attacks the day before.

Neil added: “They grabbed the man and pulled him into the boat. He was alive but had obviously been badly injured because of the amount of blood there.”

Neil and wife June, who have been to Sharm el Sheikh four times over the last 14 years, had never heard of any previous shark attacks at the resort.

The couple, who returned from their 11-night holiday on December 9, have always gone snorkelling in Sharm el Sheikh and have snorkelled before in Shark’s Bay, where the attacks took place

There were four attacks within the space of a week. Neil thinks the one he saw was the third.

An oceanic white-tip shark is suspected to have been responsible. So far, at the time of going to press, one German woman had been killed and four other people injured. Some beaches in Sharm el Sheikh were re-opened this week.

Neil said: “We could easily have been in there snorkelling. It could have been any one of us and it’s quite possible that I won’t ever snorkel around that area again.”