Woman lifeless after assault with the aid of top notch white shark off Maine coast, officers say



A female swimming off the coast of Maine on Monday died after being attacked via a first-rate white shark, in what officers say is the first deadly shark assault ever recorded in the state.

Authorities recognized the sufferer on Tuesday as Julie Dimperio Holowach, 63, of New York City. Holowach, the former president of purse clothier Kipling USA, owned property in the Harpswell area, officers said.

Holowach was once swimming with her daughter about 20 yards off the shore of Bailey Island on Monday when, in accordance to an eyewitness, she seemed to be attacked via a shark at round 3:20 p.m., officers said.

Kayakers added Holowach ashore, the place she used to be said lifeless by means of EMS responders, officers said. The U.S. Coast Guard stated it additionally replied to the attack. Holowach's daughter used to be uninjured, officers said.

Holowach used to be sporting a moist swimsuit at the time, officers said. It is now not clear what induced the attack, however some thing darkish should have mimicked a seal, Patrick Keliher, commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources, stated at a press briefing on Tuesday. He stated it was once "nothing greater than miraculous" that the kayakers had been in a position to get to the place of the assault and deliver her again to shore.

Based on a recovered enamel fragment, the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries was once capable to positively pick out that Holowach was once attacked by using a first-rate white shark, officers said.

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In a statement, a Kipling Americas spokesperson said Holowach used to be an "incredible chief who delivered out the fine in her group and colleagues."

"She will be ignored with the aid of our industry, our company, and as a buddy to so many," the spokesperson said.

Keliher careworn that the assault used to be a "very relatively uncommon event."

The assault is the solely validated shark fatality ever recorded in Maine waters, in accordance to records. Previously the nation solely had one said shark attack, Keliher said. In October 2010, an undersea diver filmed a porbeagle shark attacking him off the coast of Eastport. The diver used to be uninjured, in accordance to reviews at the time.

The University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File has additionally in the past recorded solely one unprovoked shark assault in Maine due to the fact that 1837.

Given the rarity of the event, the seaside has now not been closed, officers said. The Maine Marine Patrol is monitoring the place of the assault and is urging swimmers and boaters to use warning close to Bailey Island and to keep away from training fish or seals. There have been a few reviews of seals with chew marks, which is pretty common, Keliher said.

The Sulikowski Shark and Fish Conservation Lab at Arizona State University currently detected white sharks in Southern Maine, and on Sunday, a seal carcass used to be observed on the seaside in Phippsburg, Maine, with a 19-inch chunk wound, James Sulikowski informed the Portland Press Herald on Monday.

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Shark assaults on human beings are uncommon in general. According to the International Shark Attack File, there had been sixty four proven unprovoked assaults in the world closing year, ensuing in two fatalities. Shark assaults have been on the decline so a ways this year, too, the database reported, probable due to quarantine measures as a end result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Holowach and her family, who spend summers in Maine, are "well-known and revered individuals" in the community, Keliher said.

For the previous three years, Holowach had been on the board of administrators of Sea Bags, a purse maker based totally in Portland, Maine, in accordance to her LinkedIn profile. In a statement, Sea Bags CEO Don Oakes stated he was once "extremely stunned and saddened" by way of her death.

"Her ardour for the ocean, the kingdom of Maine and motives we agree with in made her an priceless supporter and friend," Oakes said. "We will deeply leave out Julie's enthusiasm and wonderful spirit." 

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