A rare shark attack killed a 22-year-old man in eastern Cuba, local media reports said Monday. The incident took place at the popular Guardalavaca Beach in the eastern province of Holguin.

Shark attacks are very uncommon in Cuba, and the recent incident is the first to occur in the area. The man had been swimming in the waters off the beach when the unprecedented attack took place. Three couples were in the water when the shark attacked late Saturday night. The swimmers, who were not far from the shoreline, were startled to hear the man, who was not identified, shout after he was bitten by the shark.

The other swimmers managed to scare off the shark and take the victim to a nearby clinic in critical condition. The victim suffered from hypovolemic shock after losing more than 20 percent of his blood supply. He succumbed to his injuries before he could be transferred to a hospital. It is unclear what type of shark attacked the man.

Enrique Remedios Contis, the doctor who attended to the victim, said the 22-year-old sustained a large bite on his left thigh that affected his femoral artery, the body's second largest artery after the aorta, local media reported.

“Unfortunately, the young man died within a few minutes, without actually making it to one of our hospitals, as his condition was very serious," Contis told Ahora.cu. "He had a wide and deep bite from a marine animal on his left thigh that must have affected the femoral artery."

Only 11 unprovoked shark attacks have been recorded in Cuba since 1580 compared to 1,352 in the U.S., according the latest data from the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida. 

Below are some tips as to how to avoid and survive a shark attack. According to an article on the Florida Museum of Natural History website, a shark attack can be avoided by observing certain precautions.

1. Choose to swim in a group as sharks most often attack lone individuals.

2. Don't wander too far from the shore as it may be difficult to return fast for help in case you spot a shark.

3. Avoid the water at night, dawn, or dusk as sharks are most active at these times.

4. In case you have a cut or you are bleeding, do not enter the water.

5. Leave the water immediately if you spot a shark.

6. Avoid going into waters containing sewage as it attracts bait fishes, which in turn attract sharks.

7. Don't splash a lot in the water. Erratic movements can attract sharks.

8. Don't try to touch a shark if you see one.

9. If attacked by a shark, do whatever it takes to get away from it.