Woman killed in bloody shark attack at beach resort

LOWELL, MA – A Massachusetts-based math specialist was identified as the paddleboarder killed in a shark attack in the Bahamas on Monday. Lauren Erickson Van Wart, 44, from Lowell, was vacationing with her husband at the Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort when the fatal incident occurred, the Royal Bahamas Police Force confirmed.

During a paddleboarding outing with her husband less than a mile off the resort on New Providence Island, a predatory shark dragged her under the water prompting an immediate response from an onlooker who was a lifeguard. The lifeguard managed to rescue the pair and bring them back to shore.

With the help of others present at the scene, attempts were made to resuscitate Van Wart. She had sustained grave injuries on her right side, including her upper limb and hip area. Despite their efforts, she was ultimately pronounced dead at the scene. Her husband, fortunately, remained uninjured.

A neighbor expressed their distress, saying, “Trip of a lifetime, it’s heartbreaking, it really is. Shocking. These poor people, they probably looked forward to this vacation for months.” Van Wart was a math specialist at Curriculum Associates, a company based in Billerica providing educational resources.

While it’s rare, Van Wart’s death marks the second deadly shark attack in the Bahamas in under two weeks, with a 47-year-old German woman still missing after a reported attack during her dive late last month. Authorities are yet to disclose the type of shark responsible for Van Wart’s attack.