German tourist dies after losing her arm in Hawaii shark attack

Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 10:33am

A German tourist bitten by a shark while she was vacationing in Hawaii died Wednesday, a week after the attack, her family said.

Jana Lutteropp was remembered by her mother, Jutta Lutteropp, and sister, Julia Broeske, as "a very beautiful, strong young woman who was always laughing, and we will forever remember her that way."

"Jana fought hard to stay alive," her relatives said. "However, we are sad to say that she lost her fight today."

The woman, believed to be about 20 years old, was snorkeling about 50 yards off the Hawaiian island of Maui when a shark severed her right arm around 4:40 p.m. on August 14, authorities said. "The water was choppy with limited visibility" at the time, the county of Maui noted on its Facebook page.

Two male friends, who were nearby in the water, and a kayaker carried Lutteropp out of the water.

First responders found her unconscious and took her to Maui Medical Center, said Lee Mainaga of the Maui Fire Department said. She was initially listed in critical condition.

The incident spurred authorities to shut down beaches one mile on each side of where the attack happened. By noon the next day, Thursday, the beach reopened, according to the county.

Lutteropp had traveled to Hawaii after finishing her year as an au pair, according to Cultural Care Au Pair, the agency she'd worked with.

The agency said Wednesday, on its Facebook page, that Lutteropp died "surrounded by her family."

"Please join us in keeping them in your thoughts and prayers," Cultural Care said.

This shark attack is the fourth in Maui this year, with two happening on the same day in February, and the other in late July.

Four days after the Maui incident, in Pohoiki Bay on what's known as the Big Island, a gray shark bit a 16-year-old across both legs as he was surfing, CNN affiliate KHON reported.

While shark attacks have been on the uptick in recent years, according to the University of Florida, the fatality rate in the United States is just 2%.

-- CNN's Leslie Bentz and Tina Burnside contributed to this report.

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