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Mexican woman killed in shark attack while swimming with 5-year-old daughter: Officials

A Mexican woman was killed in a shark attack after she was bitten while swimming with her five-year-old daughter, officials say.

Rafael Araiza, the head of the local civil defense office, told the Associated Press, the 26-year-old woman was floating to a play platform about 75 feet (25 meters) from the beach in Melaque on Saturday.

The woman was trying to get her daughter on top of the platform when she was severely bitten in the leg by the shark. Her daughter was unharmed, the AP reported.

The massive bite wound near her hip led to blood loss, which resulted in her death.

Authorities closed off the beaches in Melaque and the nearby popular beach town Barra de Navidad.

World's shark attack capital: Global shark stats tell story over 47 years

Are shark attacks common?

Shark attacks in Mexico are relatively uncommon. In fact, shark attacks worldwide have decreased in 2022. Fifty-seven unprovoked bites were reported in 2022, according to the latest annual report from the Florida Museum of Natural History’s Florida Program for Shark Research. That is lower than 10-year average of 74.

Gavin Naylor, the research program director previously told USA TODAY there's two things that led to the decreased unprovoked attacks and fatalities.

“Generally speaking, the number of sharks in the world’s oceans has decreased, which may have contributed to recent lulls,” Naylor said. It's also likely fatalities are down "because some areas have recently implemented rigorous beach safety protocols, especially in Australia.”

How to reduce your risk of a shark attack

Although the chances of being bitten by a shark are extremely low, there are still additional measures swimmers can take to reduce the risk of a shark attack.

  • Remove reflective jewelry.

  • Avoid areas where people are fishing.

  • Leave the water if you see abundant bait fish.

  • Swim in groups.

  • Don’t wander too far from shore.

  • Swim in front of a lifeguard.

  • Don’t swim in dim or dark light.

Dinah Voyles Pulver contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Mexican woman, mother killed in shark attack, officials say