Russian residents along the Pacific coast have been warned to stay out of the water after two men fell victim to two unprecedented shark attacks over two consecutive days.
A 25-year-old man swimming at a beach in Primorsky Krai on Russia's Pacific coast lost both of his hands while trying to rescue his wife who was first attacked by the shark.
Denis and Polina Udovenko set out on an evening swim when Denis noticed the shark and told his wife to swim faster, according to the Interfax news agency. Polina said her husband beat the shark on the nose which led to the shark heaving him up and down before throwing him to the surface.
A day later a 16-year-old boy, Vakery Sidrovich, was bitten severely on his legs. The boy underwent six hours of surgery while doctors removed the pieces of shark's teeth from his legs. A physician at the local hospital described the injuries as looking like someone had passed a rake over the boys legs, Agence France Presse reported.
Shark attacks in this area of the Pacific coast have been unheard of. An eye witness of the first attack told Russia's Vesti television that he couldn't believe it was a shark until he saw the man that was attacked.
The witness statements were varied saying the sharks were between 6 to 12 feet long, which has led scientists to believe the attack was made by a great white shark.
One reason the two victims may have survived, he said, is that sharks actually find the taste of humans off-putting. A big enough shark can instantly rip off a limb, but as soon as it tastes the meat and realizes that it is not right, it will immediately leave it behind, said Dmitri Astakhov, a shark expert at the P.P. Shirshov Institute of Marine Sciences in Moscow., the New York Times reported.
Authorities have banned swimming in the Khasan area where 7,000 people holiday during this time of year. A middle-aged unidentified woman in a bikini told NTV television that she is going to the beach despite the ban because summer in Russia lasts just for one day, Agence France Presse reported.