A Wall Street private equity manager was killed by a tiger shark while diving with a group off a Costa Rican island.
Rohina Bhandari, who lived in Manhattan, New York suffered fatal bites to both her legs Thursday while diving with a group of friends in the waters near Cocos Island, a national park about 300 miles off the Costa Rican mainland, the environment ministry said in a statement.
Bhandari, 49, was a senior director at WL Ross & Co. LL, a firm founded by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and often attended New York City charity events.
Colleagues in the financial community and friends have reacted with shock to her death.
“Unbelievably sad and heartbreaking news that Rohina has died,” posted Julie Walker, one of her Facebook friends.
“She was such a wonderful person who loved life. I will always remember her kindness, friendship and our adventures together.
According to a report in the local La Nacion, it was the group’s diving guide that noticed a tiger shark approaching underwater and tried to scare it away.
But as they surfaced, the shark swam directly at Bhandari and began biting her legs.
The guide tried to assist, and also got bitten, according to the report.
A group of doctors, also diving in the area, ended up declaring the woman dead at the scene
The injured guide was taken to a hospital, reportedly conscious and in relatively stable condition. He told officials that the shark attacked when his group was surfacing at the tail end of the dive.
A boater and other divers tried to drive the creature away but it was too late.
“Upon reaching the surface, the attack on the tourist was already serious,” the ministry said.
Tiger sharks are aggressive predators, often found around Pacific islands.