Mexican woman dies after shark attack on the coast of Jalisco

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Maria Fernandez Martinez Jimenez died saving her five-year-old daughter

A Mexican woman died after she was severely bitten in the leg by a shark in the Pacific Ocean off the beach town of Melaque, authorities said Sunday.

Rafael Araiza, the head of the local civil defense office, said the attack occurred Saturday a short distance from the beach in Melaque, just west of the seaport of Manzanillo.

The town is in the western state of Jalisco and is located next to the better-known beach town of Barra de Navidad.

Ariaza said the woman, 26, was swimming with her five-year-old daughter toward a floating play platform about 75 feet (25 meters) from the shore.

The victim was trying to boost her child aboard the floating platform when the shark bit her. The daughter was not harmed.

Ariaza said that despite a quick response by rescuers, the woman died of blood loss from the massive bite wound on her leg near the hip. She was a resident of a nearby town.

Authorities closed the beaches in Melaque and Barra de Navidad to swimming as a precaution.

Shark attacks are relatively rare in Mexico. In 2019, a U.S. diver survived a shark bite on the forearm in Magdalena Bay off the Baja California Sur coast.