A distraught Russian father has told of his horror at watching his son be mauled to death by a ‘meat grinder’ tiger shark at an Egyptian resort as he screamed out: ‘Papa, save me!’
Yury Popov was forced to watch helplessly from the shore as the beast attacked his son Vladimir, 23, before dragging him under water in the resort of Hurghada.
Holidaymakers scrambled from the water as horrified onlookers called out to Vladimir to swim away from the shark before he was mauled to death.
Vladimir was heard screaming ‘papa, save me’ as his father helplessly watched his son being dragged under the water by the shark, which was later caught and killed on the beach.
‘We went to the beach to relax,’ Yury told the 112 media outlet. ‘My son was attacked by a shark, it all happened in seconds.’
Vladimir Popov was heard screaming ‘papa’ as he was mauled to death by a shark today in Egyptian resort Hurghada. Pictured: A still grab from a graphic video showing the attack. The shark’s fin can be seen just feet away from Vladimir as he attempts to swim away from the beast
Tourists watched in horror from the shore as the beast wounded the man before dragging him under the water
The heartbroken father said there were no family members around Vladimir to help in the water, even though initial reports said the 23-year-old’s girlfriend had managed to flee the attack.
‘What kind of help can you give? This meat grinder happened in 20 seconds, he was just dragged under the water,’ Yury said.
The shell-shocked father said: ‘This is an absolutely ridiculous coincidence, because it is a safe beach. There are ships and yachts around. It’s never happened there. They usually attack on wild beaches. It’s just some kind of evil fate.’
Vladimir had been living with his father in Egypt for several months before the horrific attack. Yury said he would cremate his son and return the ashes to their native Russia.
Video shows the tiger shark being caught and dragged ashore by a boat following the attack. It appeared to be alive as people clubbed it to death.
The Egyptian authorities confirmed they had caught the shark that had killed Vladimir and the beast was handed over for research into the causes of its behaviour, according to reports.
Researchers also intend to identify whether the shark is related to one that ’caused several previous accidents’.
The fatal shark attack was filmed by horrified onlookers who were standing helplessly on the beach as the carnage ensued.
Video shows that Vladimir desperately shouted ‘Papa, Papa’ as the predator hunted him in the water, circling him before launching the attack.
The victim Vladimir Popov (pictured) had moved to the resort with his father several months ago
Vladimir was heard screaming ‘papa, save me’ as his father helplessly watched his son being dragged under the water by the shark, which was later caught and killed on the beach (pictured)
The 23-year-old can be seen desperately trying to swim towards the shore, but appears to be attacked by the shark while still in deeper waters.
His body is seen spinning in the water, and his legs raise above the surface – as horrified onlookers scream and shout for the man to swim.
‘Swim away, swim away! Quick! A shark!’ people can be heard shouting.
The splashing in the water stops, and the man’s head returns to the surface. He appears in the video to be moving around in the water again, but only slowly.
He can be heard screaming ‘Papa’, pleading for help, as some of the water turns red.
As he does so, the shark’s body is seen clearly at the surface this time. The long black shape circles around the man, and its fin and tail are seen near the surface.
The woman filming the horrific attack can he heard repeating ‘oh my god’ as it unfolds. As she does so, the shark turns around for another attack and swims at the man again, clamping its jaws around him, pulling him under the water.
The man’s head appears above the water one last time, and the shark’s body is seen writhing in the ocean as it appears to eat the man’s body and drag it further down.
One witness said: ‘The shark’s eating his remains now. There she is, eating his remains.’ Another said: ‘Right in front of my eyes, the shark ate the guy, the girl managed to escape. He took the blow from the shark.
‘It’s a terrible thing, the remains of this man are lying there.’
Another witness said the shark toyed with Vladimir’s body for two hours in the water.
‘Children swam [in the area where the shark attacked] very often – there were children’s slides,’ the witness said.
‘All this happened not far from a descent into the sea, next to the ladder, used by everyone who went into the water.
‘At one point, the shark appeared, and immediately bit this man. Rescuers saw this and began to start the boat. He tried to swim away from the shark, but he couldn’t [before he was attacked].
‘And the shark dragged the body for two hours. It constantly dragged him under the water.’
Witnesses said the victim’s girlfriend had been in the water at the time of the attack. Russian reports say she is safely in Russia.
The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed the death of a citizen from a shark attack.
Vladimir is not the first to have been killed by a shark at the resort.
In July last year, 68-year-old Austrian Elisabeth Sauer was attacked in front of horrified onlookers – 15 minutes after English speaking guests warned Egyptian lifeguards about sharks. Their warnings had been laughed off.
A second woman – identified only as a Romanian national in her 40s – is thought to have been killed in a similar attack just 650ft away from where Sauer died, with her badly disfigured remains found on a nearby reef the same day.
Ms Sauer lost an arm and a leg in an attack that was caught on film, as onlookers tried to distract the shark and get her to safety.
She reached the shore with the help of a flipper, but died a short time later.
Reports at the time – from news agency AFP and Austrian news outlets – pointed to the attack being committed by a Mako shark, while local Egyptian newspapers named the animal as an Oceanic whitetip shark.