An Austrian woman was viciously mauled to death by a shark while snorkelling at the bay of Sahl Hasheesh on Egypt's Red Sea coast on Friday.

The 68-year-old woman has been identified as Elisabeth Sauer. She was on a holiday with her husband when the tragedy took place. The woman was reportedly seen walking in shallow water not far from the beach and had told her husband that "she will go back in for a moment."

Unfortuntely, a shark came from nowhere and tore off her arm and leg. A video of the attack has gone viral on social media, wherein the woman could be seen trying to swim back to shore as bystanders threw a float towards her.

According to a report in The Independent, the woman is believed to have been attacked by a Mako or Oceanic whitetip shark near the popular resort of Hurghada in Egypt.

She was immediately rushed to the hospital but died due to circulatory failure - a sudden drop in blood pressure which often occurs after massive blood loss.

Some reports have claimed that she was a tourist and was to return home on Sunday, while some have claimed that she had been living in Egypt for the last five years.

"We mourn the passing of our Elisabeth Sauer (68), who died through a tragic accident! Our deepest condolences go out to the family!" wrote the local Green Party in Kramsach on Facebook.

"Elisabeth was a committed Green from the first hour in Kramsach, councillor from 1998 - 2004, for many years loyal substitute councillor and GR - candidate! May she rest in peace," they added.

Another woman lost her life in a separate shark attack on Sunday just 650ft away from the place where Sauer was attacked. But the woman has not been identified yet.

A spate of such shark attacks were carried out by oceanic whitetips back in 2010, which killed a 70-year-old German tourist while she was snorkelling. Three Russian tourists were also wounded in another Red Sea resort. The Egyptian government implemented a series of measures to ensure the safety of swimmers and scuba divers.

These included requiring hotels and dive centres to assign a shark watcher at beaches known to have frequent shark sightings, and inform visitors to evacuate the area if a shark is spotted in the water.

There had been a steep decline in shark attacks in Egypt's Red Sea coastal region during the last few years. However, the latest attack has forced the government to shut down several Red Sea beaches and ban all water activities.

Oceanic whitetip shark
Oceanic whitetip shark is suspected of being responsible for many fatal attacks on humans. Wikipedia