Spanish tourist bitten by shark in Canaries becomes Twitter sensation

Madrid woman enjoying Christmas vacation posts pictures of wounds from silky shark

Image of the wounds left behind by the shark attack.
Image of the wounds left behind by the shark attack.

A 38-year-old tourist from Madrid became the victim of a shark attack this week while on a Christmas vacation in the Canary Islands. As Cristina Ojeda herself explained via Twitter, she was bitten by a silky shark on her arm while bathing 20 meters off the coast of the beach of Arinaga, in Gran Canaria.

Despite requiring stitches, Ojeda was keen to play down the importance of the incident, in particular given the media attention it had attracted. “This is starting to get out of control,” she wrote on Twitter. “Please let’s not get sensational. I would get straight back in the water were it not for the bandage.”

“Today I had an encounter with a shark. Things that happen when you swim in the Canaries in December.”

Ojeda, who is a doctor by profession, also pointed out the absurdity of the attention she was getting. “Treating people on 11-M [the day of the Madrid train bombings], awards for research, operating on serious injuries... And I end up being famous for a shark bite!”


Sharks caught on video around aquaculture cages off the Canarian coast.

The rise in the number of sharks near the Canarian beaches has been flagged up over recent months, after at least a half-dozen were caught on video lurking around aquaculture cages off the coasts of Telde and San Bartolomé de Tirajana.

English version by Simon Hunter.