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Alex Wilton with a photo of the shark bite. Alex Wilton with a photo of the shark bite.

Tourist from US suffers shark bite at Guerrero beach

The man was swimming in Troncones when he was bitten

A tourist from the United States was attacked by a shark last week while swimming at a beach in Troncones, Guerrero.

According to local media reports, 32-year-old Alex Wilton was swimming about 20 meters from shore at around 5:30pm last Thursday when a shark bit him on his right leg, leaving a gash about 20 centimeters long.

The man’s girlfriend and others at the beach helped him out of the water and took him to a private clinic in Zihuatanejo for treatment.

Cresencio Reyes Torres, mayor of La Unión de Isidoro Montes de Oca, the municipality where Troncones is located, said Wilton returned to the United States yesterday and that he was in good health.

The mayor denied that local authorities and tourism operators had tried to conceal information about the attack as was reported by some media outlets.

“. . . I couldn’t say anything about it because I didn’t have precise information so my wife went to see the patient . . . and that’s why today I can offer an opinion . . .” Reyes said.

The mayor added that he didn’t expect a downturn in tourism as a result of the shark attack, explaining that local authorities will take steps to protect beach users by employing lifeguards, erecting signs to warn tourists to take precautions and possibly placing shark nets off the coast.

According to local fishermen, this is the season for cool ocean currents, which bring bull sharks closer to shore. In response, some hotel operators are urging authorities to monitor local waters to avoid further attacks.

A surfer from the United States was killed by a shark in an attack in Troncones in April 2008 and the next month, a Mexican surfer died after being bitten by a shark at a beach in Pantla, a community about 20 kilometers north of Zihuatanejo.

Source: Sin Embargo (sp), Zihuaenfoque (sp)

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