Shark rips forearm off Brazilian diver at World Heritage Site; it’s a first

The first shark attack ever recorded at the tropical archipelago Fernando de Noronha, a World Heritage Site, was a first. Photo: NOAA

The first shark attack ever recorded at the tropical archipelago Fernando de Noronha, a World Heritage Site, was a first. Was it a hammerhead? Generic photo: NOAA

In the first shark attack ever recorded at the tropical archipelago Fernando de Noronha, a World Heritage Site, a Brazilian man had his forearm ripped off Monday while diving during vacation at the protected marine reserve.

The species of shark was unidentified. Of the 60 shark attacks since 1992 (including 24 fatal attacks) in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, of which the archipelago belongs, hammerhead sharks were the species that attacked most frequently based on figures from the Shark Attack Monitoring Center in Brazil, according to AFP.

The beach where the attack occurred was closed, but a marine biologist and shark expert were authorized to dive the area in an attempt to establish the species that attacked the man.

The 33-year-old diver was listed as stable condition in a hospital in Recife on mainland Brazil, and was scheduled for surgery Tuesday.

Fernando de Noronha, an archipelago of 21 islands some 220 miles off Brazil, was designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001 because of the importance of its environment. It is known for its turquoise water and rich marine life. And now it's also known for a shark attack.

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