French woman loses both hands, breast in Polynesia shark attack

A French woman lost both her hands and one breast when a shark attacked her while she was whale-watching off an island in Polynesia on Monday, according to reports.

The 35-year-old tourist was swimming off the island of Mo’orea when an oceanic whitetip shark bit into her chest and arms — ripping off both her hands at the forearm, the UK Telegraph reported Tuesday.

According to France Info, the shark also ripped off the woman’s left breast.

Local authorities said the woman was lucky to be alive.

“Luckily for her, there were two nurses on the scene who could deliver first aid,” firefighter Jean-Jacques Riveta said, according to the Telegraph.

“When we got to the hotel jetty, she was conscious but in a critical condition. She had lost a lot of blood and both her hands had been cut off at the forearm, along with part of her chest,” he said.

The woman was airlifted to the nearby island of Tahiti, 11 miles away, where she is recovering in the hospital in a stable condition.

Famous conservationist and oceanographer Jacques Cousteau once said he considered the whitetip shark “the most dangerous of all sharks” — citing their hunting skills and recorded history of picking off shipwreck survivors, the Telegraph report noted.

Whitetips were thought to be responsible for the deaths of up to 800 sailors after the USS Indianapolis sank in the Pacific during World War II in 1945.

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