NASSAU, BAHAMAS – A beloved math specialist from Massachusetts, 44-year-old Lauren Erickson Van Wart, tragically lost her life in a shark attack while paddleboarding with her husband near the Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort. The Royal Bahamas Police Force reported that Van Wart sustained catastrophic injuries during the incident and was pronounced dead at the scene. The lifeguard who witnessed the attack managed to rescue both Van Wart and her husband and bring them back to shore.
The devastated couple had been on a dream vacation at the five-star resort on New Providence island. Van Wart’s husband fortunately escaped unharmed. Neighbors of the couple expressed their shock and sorrow, referring to the trip as a “trip of a lifetime.”
Van Wart worked as a math specialist for Curriculum Associates, a respected educational resource provider based in Billerica, Massachusetts. The company’s CEO, Rob Waldron, expressed deep grief over the loss of a valued colleague and friend. He described Van Wart as a dedicated and trusted member of their team who showed relentless commitment to improving learning outcomes for students and educators.
Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort confirmed Van Wart’s status as a guest at the all-inclusive facility. While it remains unclear which species of shark was responsible for the attack, the waters surrounding the Bahamas are home to dozens of shark varieties known to display aggression, including bull sharks, tiger sharks, and black tip sharks.
Tragically, Van Wart’s death marks the second deadly shark attack in the Bahamas in less than two weeks.
Last year, another shark attack claimed the life of a 58-year-old American cruise ship passenger from Pennsylvania, who was snorkeling in the northern Bahamas near Green Cay.
The incidents highlight the inherent risks associated with marine activities in the region. Tourists are advised to exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings while participating in water-based activities in the Bahamas.