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An American Tourist Was Killed By a Shark While Scuba Diving in Costa Rica

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An American tourist died after a tiger shark mauled her legs while she was scuba diving off the coast of Costa Rica last week, authorities said.

The tourist was identified by media outlets as Rohina Bhandari, a New York private equity director. Bhandari died after she sustained severe bites on her legs, according to the statement from Costa Rica’s ministry of environment and energy, translated by The Washington Post. The official statement identified the victim by her last name, Bhandari, and her scuba diving guide by the last name Jiménez.

The dive instructor was also bitten by the shark, but did not suffer life-threatening wounds. Doctors on site treated Jiménez’s wounds and confirmed Bhandari’s death, according to officials.

The incident occurred on Nov. 30, was an isolated incident and was the first of its kind at Isla del Coco National Park, according to officials. The attack happened as the group was reaching the end of their dive.

Patrick McMullan Archives
Rohina Bhandari attends MIGUEL FORBES Birthday Party at The Highlander on August 9, 2008 in Montauk, NY. (Patrick McMullan—Getty Images)Patrick McMullan—Getty Images)

Bhandari’s dive took place at Cocos Island, which sits off Costa Rica’s mainland. The National Park is known for its scuba spots, where divers can spot a diverse array of marine life, including rays, dolphins and 14 different species of sharks, including hammerheads, according to authorities.

Bhandari was well-known in New York’s charity world, according to the New York Daily News. Bhandari was a senior director at WL Ross & Co. LLC, an investing group founded by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross that she had worked at since Oct. 2013, according to her LinkedIn page. Before then, Bhandari was the managing director for institutional sales at PineBridge Investments.

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