American Cruise Ship Passenger Killed in Shark Attack While Snorkeling In the Bahamas

Clare Fitzgerald
Photo Credit: Luis Javier Sandoval / VW Pics / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

An American cruise ship passenger was killed by a shark while snorkeling in the Bahamas. According to the Royal Bahamas Police Force, 58-year-old Caroline DiPlacido, of Pennsylvania, was attacked by a bull shark while on an excursion with her family.

Aerial view of Nassau, Bahamas
The shark attack occurred in Nassau, Bahamas. (Photo Credit: Archive Photos / Getty Images)

DiPlacido and her family were snorkeling with a local tour company near Green Cay in Nassau when the attacked happened. Those in the area saw the 58-year-old in distress and pulled her from the water, noting injuries to her “upper extremities.” She was immediately taken to shore, where she was declared deceased.

The cruise ship she was on, the Harmony of the Seas, was docked in Nassau at the time and had just recently begun a seven-night trip of the western Caribbean. The vessel left Florida‘s Port Canaveral on September 4, 2022.

Speaking in a statement, cruise operator Royal Caribbean International said it was “providing support and assistance to the guest’s loved ones during this difficult time.” This was followed by one from DiPlacido’s employer, Gannon University. She worked as a project coordinator for the school’s Office of Community and Government Relations.

“Caroline was a powerful presence of kindness and friendship to colleagues, students, and the wider community and cherished many family ties to Gannon,” the statement read. “The news is devastating, and she will be missed.”

Diver swimming behind a bull shark
Bull sharks are known for their aggressive behavior. (Photo Credit: Joseph Prezioso / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

The beach where the attack occurred has been closed off, pending an investigation. The incident brings to mind a similar one from 2019, when a 21-year-old California woman was attacked by a shark just a half mile away.

While the attack has caught widespread attention, officials with the International Shark Attack File have shared that only 32 shark attacks have been reported in the Bahamas since 1749. As well, only 73 confirmed attacks occurred worldwide in 2021, of which nine resulted in death.

Man snorkeling in shallow water while a school of fish swim by
The American cruise ship passenger was snorkeling with her family when the shark attack occurred. (Photo Credit: MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP / Getty Images)

Bull sharks are more likely than other shark species to attack humans unprovoked. Known for their aggression, they average between seven and 11.5 feet in length, and can weigh anywhere from 200 to 500 pounds. They typically eat dolphins, turtles, fish and other sharks.

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It’s unclear why sharks attack humans. Many experts believe the majority of incidents are the result of “mistaken identity” caused by poor water visibility, as the majority of bites occur when humans are swimming near large schools of fish. Sharks are also known to attack when they feel threatened and are trying to defend themselves.


Clare Fitzgerald is a Writer and Editor with eight years of experience in the online content sphere. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from King’s University College at Western University, her portfolio includes coverage of digital media, current affairs, history and true crime.

Among her accomplishments are being the Founder of the true crime blog, Stories of the Unsolved, which garners between 400,000 and 500,000 views annually, and a contributor for John Lordan’s Seriously Mysterious podcast. Prior to its hiatus, she also served as the Head of Content for UK YouTube publication, TenEighty Magazine.

In her spare time, Clare likes to play Pokemon GO and re-watch Heartland over and over (and over) again. She’ll also rave about her three Maltese dogs whenever she gets the chance.

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