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Family of woman killed by great white shark watched as monster tore her apart

As a woman was torn apart by a great white shark at one of South Africa’s most popular beaches her husband and young child could only watch on helplessly from the shore.

Kimon Bisogno, known to friends and family as Kiki, was swimming in Plettenberg Bay, some 320 miles east of Cape Town, when the predator struck.

She remained mostly in the shallows, rarely staying from waist-deep water, but it was as she swam across a stretch of water that was around six feet deep that the shark attacked her.

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Kimon, 39, was alone in the water at the time and it was still early in the morning before lifeguards had started work for the day.

Shocked bystanders raised the alarm but her husband Diego Milesi could do nothing as the tragedy unfolded.

A rescue boat later recovered Kimon's remains around 50 yards from the shore

The attack came in the wake of warnings about increased shark activity in the area after the carcass of a humpback whale washed ashore.

All of the beaches along the Plettenberg Bay’s 22-mile stretch of Indian Ocean coastline are closed until officials are satisfied its waters are safe.

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The attack followed recent warnings about increased shark activity in the area after the carcass of a humpback whale washed ashore.

Dr. Sara Andreotti, from Stellenbosch University ,has studied great whites off the South African coast for the last 15 years. She told CBS News that two attacks in one year is extremely rare.

"Globally, there are generally six shark fatalities a year, so two in one area is almost unheard of," she said

She added that many beaches along that stretch of coastline have anti-shark defences, and sightings of great whites have declined massively in recent years.

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Shark expert Mary Rowlinson says that the ocean predator, which has survived for over 400 million years, is under threat.

Because of increased fishing, she said, “we are depleting their food resources. And if you deplete the food resources, it creates greater competition between individuals, which makes it more difficult for each individual white shark to survive”.

Dr Andreotti says that the rare occasions when sharks attack a human can lead to a dramatic over-reaction, “A fatal shark attack is a very traumatic event," she said, but warned that individual tragedies could lead to knee-jerk reactions that can endanger the entire oceans ecosystem.

”As a global community,” she said, “we have a much deeper understanding of measures we can now take to mitigate, as best we can, future attacks, while not threatening shark populations or throwing entire, very fragile ecosystems off-balance."

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