By MORGAN ADDERLEY
Tribune Staff Reporter
IN the wake of Wednesday’s horrific shark attack that claimed the life of a 21-year-old American woman, the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources is advising the public to “exercise extreme caution” while “in and around” the waters of New Providence, Rose Island, and Paradise Island.
The ministry is also calling for the public to “avoid” cleaning and discarding fish waste in the ocean, noting this practice attracts sharks into areas used for public swimming.
“A beautiful, gentle soul” is how the family of Jordan Lindsey, 21, described the young woman who was tragically killed by sharks while snorkeling with her family in the waters near Rose Island.
“Jordan was 21 and such a great daughter and person. We already miss her terribly,” Lindsey’s father, Michael Lindsey, told ABC News.
“Myself, my two boys, and Jordan’s girlfriend, Gianna, were on another part of the island, just swimming on the beach side,” he said. “My wife, Kami, and Jordan went snorkeling on another part of island. My wife was near Jordan, a few feet away, when the shark attacked.
“She said it happened so fast, and no one yelled anything. My wife got to Jordan and pulled Jordan to shore by herself. The medical staff said they still had to do an autopsy. My wife said no one told her there were three sharks.”
Lindsey’s right arm was torn off and her left arm, both legs, and buttocks were bitten, according to the ABC article.
Following the tragedy, the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources issued a public advisory.
“The public is advised to exercise extreme caution in and around the waters of New Providence, adjacent islands and cays, in particular the areas of northern shoreline of New Providence, the northeastern shoreline of Paradise Island, Rose Island and along the Montagu foreshore,” the statement reads.
“The public is further advised to avoid the cleaning or discarding of fish waste in the water as this practice attracts sharks into areas often utilised for swimming by the public and our guests. Further, if a shark is seen in the swimming area, persons are advised to leave the water and in no circumstance molest or play with the animal.
“Also, if injured and bleeding while in the water, it is recommended that you leave the water as sharks are attracted to blood.
“The public is encouraged to report all sightings to the Public Authority.”
Environmentalists have also spoken against the practice of feeding sharks, known as “chumming”.
While the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) stressed the rarity of fatal shark attacks in the Bahamas, in a statement yesterday the institution warned against chumming.
“Although the details surrounding this attack are not known, the BNT would like to caution all marine operators bringing people into the marine environment to be especially careful to not disturb or attract these large predators by feeding or chumming the waters,” the statement noted. “Sharks can be dangerous and a healthy respect for them is important.”
In an interview with The Tribune yesterday, environmentalist Joe Darville said chumming while unprofessional divers are in the water is a “catastrophe waiting to happen”.
“If chumming is done, persons should not be in the water,” he said. “When smell of food is all through the water, sharks are in a (frenzy) and cannot distinguish fish from legs and arms.”
A GoFundMe page was set up for Lindsey to assist with transporting her body from the Bahamas back to her Californian home. It is accessible at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/jordan-lindsey
Up to press time, the page had raised nearly $50,000.