World Cup 2014 is in full swing in Brazil, but one of the cities hosting matches – Recife – has been the site of several shark attacks in recent years.
According to a USA Today report, the city in northeastern Brazil has been the site of 24 fatal attacks since 1992. According to a report in Travelers Today, the most recent deadly shark attack in the waters off the coast of the 2014 World Cup host city occurred less than a year ago when a shark attacked 18 year old Sao Paulo resident Bruna Gobbi. Gobbi later died as a result of related injuries.
Last year’s shark attack was caught on camera and can be seen in this local newscast (Warning: Video has graphic footage):
The popular Recife beach is called Boa Viagem (which ironically translates from Portuguese as “Safe Journey”), and has been the scene of many of the fatal incidents.
Recife has made special efforts to ensure that those who come to enjoy one of the five 2014 World Cup matches being played there understand that swimming in the beaches carries a certain amount of risk. The city has increased the number of lifeguards present on the popular beach – from 50 to 70 – and has posted signs in Spanish and English (neither of which is the language of Brazil) warning beach goers of the potential for shark attacks.
Valdy Oliveira, a spokesman for the fire department in the 2014 World Cup host, said this about the city’s increased vigilance:
“We reinforced our safety protocol near hotels because of these shark attacks. We have specially done it in places where water is murky.”
Recife’s 24 fatal shark attacks since 1992 represent more than one death per year. It’s safe to say that city officials don’t want to see the next one occur while the city is helping to host the World Cup in 2014. The 24 fatal shark attacks represent less than half of the 59 shark attacks in the area during the time period.
Most of the locals know – and most Brazilians can find out easily enough – which parts of the beach present the most danger of shark attacks. However, city officials have expressed concern that, despite warnings posted in Spanish and English, that visitors may choose to go into the portions of the beach known for shark attacks.
What do you think? Would the warning signs at the World Cup 2014 host city beach be enough to keep you out of the water or would you take your chances knowing that the area has had more than its share of shark attacks?
[Image via Bing]