Russia Bans Swimming After Shark Attacks
Attacks on humans unprecedented in the reason
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2011 2:32 PM CDT
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Russian authorities have warned people against swimming along 840 miles of Pacific coastline and banned it altogether in one popular vacation area, after a pair of unprecedented shark attacks. On Wednesday, a 25-year-old man lost both his hands in an attack, while yesterday a 16-year-old boy had his legs severely injured—one physician said it looked like “someone had passed a sharpened rake" over them, the AP reports.

Though sharks have long inhabited the waters off Russia’s Pacific coast, they’ve never attacked humans before. Emergency Ministry employees are now scouring the area for the offending shark or sharks—they say it’s possible the same shark is responsible for both attacks, as in both cases the shark was reported as being about 13 feet long. In the meantime, many vacationers are defying the swimming ban. “Summer in Russia lasts just for one day,” one woman reasoned.