The attack happened at about 2 p.m. on Wednesday when Jordan Lindsay, of Torrance, California, was snorkeling with her parents and other relatives near Rose Island, a small island off New Providence. She was a "devoted animal lover and climate change advocate", university President Timothy Law Snyder said in a statement, according to CBS.
Jordan was in her third year at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, the university's president, Timothy Law Snyder, said in a statement.
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Bahamas Press said Lindsey was pronounced dead at a hospital in New Providence. Investigators said they believe that three sharks were involved in the attack, which was deemed an "extremely rare" and "deeply tragic event" by expert Dr. Austin Gallagher, chief scientist and CEO of Beneath the Waves, a nonprofit organization that conducts research on sharks in the Bahamas.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources has issued precautionary advisories to the public.
Sharks rarely attack humans and kill them even less frequently.
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Her death marked the first fatal shark attack in the Bahamas since 2010.
Following an autopsy, Lindsey's body will be transported to California by the U.S. Embassy, Rolle told WPLG. "We already miss her terribly".
Emotional tributes have been posted on the GoFundMe campaign launched by the Lindsey family to help pay for travel and funeral expenses. "Any amount helps. Thank you".
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They will be assessing if the water is safe.