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Family says when sharks attacked woman, tour guides did nothing to help

Colleen Shalby, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

LOS ANGELES -- Jordan Lindsey was snorkeling with her mother in the Bahamas last month when three sharks attacked, killing the 21-year-old college student.

Lindsey's family was on vacation when the June 26 attack occurred. The Torrance, residents had booked a day trip to Rose Island, northeast of Nassau, through Sandy Toes -- a tour company.

The family says that at no point during the shark attack did any tour guide staff jump into the water or mobilize to help in any way. No spotter or lifeguard was present, and once Lindsey's mother was able to drag her daughter out of the water, no first aid kit was available. When a boat arrived to bring the woman to Nassau, no medical or emergency supplies were onboard. All that the staff provided were towels, which were placed on Lindsey's legs.

"It seemed like a long ride to the dock where the ambulance was waiting which upon arrival took Jordan and her mother to Doctor's Hospital where she was shortly pronounced dead," the family said Wednesday.

Lindsey's arms, legs and buttocks were bitten, and her right arm was severed, said Paul Rolle, deputy commissioner for the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

Despite the severity of the attack, the family said the beach side of the island was not evacuated. Lindsey's father, siblings and longtime girlfriend learned of what happened from people on the beach, rather than directly from the Sandy Toes staff.

The family said it hoped that, by addressing Sandy Toes' lack of emergency resources, the company and others like it would take proactive steps to prepare for emergencies in the future.

"Our family hopes that this statement will serve as a warning and an appeal for greater regulations to be imposed in the Bahamas to ensure a tragedy like this does not happen again. We would not be able to live with ourselves if we didn't speak out and later hear that another family suffered the same devastating loss."

In a statement Wednesday, Sandy Toes again offered its condolences.

"We would once again like to extend our deepest and sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Jordan Lindsey, who recently passed away as a result of a shark attack in waters near Rose Island in the Bahamas. All reasonable steps were taken to prevent this very unfortunate incident and our staff responded swiftly and in line with our emergency protocols and procedures. We continue to pray for the Lindsey family and all those who have been impacted by this tragic occurrence."

 

Lindsey attended Loyola Marymount University, where she was majoring in communications studies.

University President Timothy Law Snyder said in a statement that she was a "devoted animal lover and climate change advocate" who had transferred to the university from Santa Monica College.

Lindsey participated in the LMU Entrepreneurship Society, Tau Sigma National Honor Society and worked as a communications assistant for the Seaver College of Science and Engineering. She also was a student researcher with the college's Center for Urban Resilience, Snyder said.

It's unclear what type of sharks attacked Lindsey. The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism issued "precautionary advisories to the public" in response to the attack.

Shark attacks on humans are rare, and fatal attacks are even more unusual. University of Florida researchers reported that people worldwide had 130 interactions with sharks last year, five of which were fatal.

(Times staff writer Hannah Fry contributed to this report.)

(c)2019 Los Angeles Times

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