NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A woman’s vacation ended in tragedy. She was killed by a shark while on a scuba diving trip.
As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, friends said Rohina Bhandar’s love for adventure inspired her solo trip to Costa Rica last week, and a dangerous diving expedition that would tragically take her life.
On Thursday, the 49-year-old, Manhattan private equity director was mauled by a tiger shark while diving off the remote Cocos Island National Park, some 300 miles from the mainland.
The tourism bureau called it ‘an isolated incident’ and said they had investigated the case.
They said the water surrounding Cocos Island is known for its abundance of sharks, but attacks are uncommon.
The bureau said Bhandari was diving in a group with guides from the Undersea Hunter Company when a female tiger shark attacked her by viciously biting her legs.
A guide trying to scare the shark away was injured, but survived.
“It was terrible. We head this news and realized that, ‘uh oh.’ They had gone on vacation and this scuba diving thing and tiger shark attacked her. We’re like, ‘oh no! Not this way, nobody wish that,” door man Herbert Akwamoah said.
Akwamoah works at the Upper East Side building where Bhandari lived for more than a decade said she was private, and a stickler for detail, but also had a warm and generous heart. She was a senior director at W.L. Ross & Co. in Midtown.
Doorman Jerry Flores said he was inspired by her success and respected her advice.
“She was like if you keep on working hard enough, you could be able to move on. So she would always advise us to continue to move on with our education,” Flores said.
Bhandari’s friends have been mourning on social media, calling her an adventurer and one of a kind. Those closest to her where getting together later this month to celebrate her 50th birthday. Now, they will gather to remember Bhandar’s beautiful and charitable life.
The tourism bureau of Costa Rica said the diving company met all the requirements and had all the necessary security measures that are needed for the dive.
Last week drone footage showed a tiger shark roaming very close to swimmers on the shore of South Beach in Miami.