Italian tourist killed by tiger shark in Caribbean while swimming in popular snorkelling area

Attacks by tiger sharks on humans are extremely rare Credit: PA Images

A man has died after being attacked by a shark off the island of San Andres in the Caribbean.

Antonio Roseto Degli Abruzzi, 56, lost a large chunk of his right thigh after being bitten by an eight-foot tiger shark while swimming in a popular snorkelling area called La Piscinita.

Images shared on social media and by local news outlets showed the victim soon after the attack, lying injured before he was taken to hospital. He later died as a result of his injuries.

The extremely rare attack happened on Friday, March 18 and is believed to be the first of its kind on the Colombian island.

A local government spokesman said: "There are diving programmes with professionals in which sharks pass nearby, but nothing has ever happened."

The island of San Andres is around 480 miles north of the Columbian mainland Credit: PA Images

Diving instructor Mirla Zambrano, 50, added: "We are all very surprised. It’s the first time a shark has attacked a tourist in San Andres."

In terms of the number of fatal shark attacks recorded, tiger shark attacks are second only to the great white shark. But attacks by Tiger sharks on humans are still extremely rare.

Marine biologist Rodrigo Lopez said: "People are very worried about what’s happened and they’re not letting people go into the water."