IMAGE: 63-year-old former accessories brand Kipling killed by a great white shark while swimming with her daughter just 20 meters off the coast of Maine
- 63-year-old Julie Dimperio Holowach from New York City was identified as the woman who died on Monday by the Maine Department of Marine Resource
- The U.S. Coast Guard was notified of a shark attack in Harpswell on Monday at 3:30 PM
- Two good Samaritans on kayaks were able to help Holowach back to shore
- But Marine Patrol says she was pronounced dead on the spot
- Holowach, who was wearing a wetsuit, may have been mistaken for a seal
A 63-year-old New York City woman died Monday after being attacked by a great white shark off the coast of Maine.
Julie Dimperio Holowach swam with her daughter in a wetsuit near Bailey Island, Harpswell, when an eyewitness saw her ‘diving underwater’. Officials say the shark may have mistaken her for a seal.
The U.S. Coast Guard said it was warned of a shark attack just after 3:30 PM after Holowach’s unharmed daughter, who was wearing a blue swimsuit, swam back to shore and called for help.
Two kayakers were able to help Holowach, the former president of the accessory brand Kipling, back to the coast so she could be treated on land.
Marine Patrol says her wife was pronounced dead on the scene shortly after.
An onlooker told it Maine News Center Holowach seemed to have been “thrown into the air by something underwater.”
Julie Dimperio Holowach, 63, of New York City was identified by the Maine Department of Marine Resource on Tuesday as the woman who died Monday from a shark attack
Julie Dimperio Holowach swam in a wetsuit with her daughter near Bailey Island, Harpswell, pictured when an eyewitness saw her ‘dive underwater’
Officials confirmed that after the initial contact at a news conference Tuesday morning, there were no additional sightings of the shark.
They called the attack “highly unusual” and said the beaches would not be closed, but urged swimmers to avoid schools of fish and seals.
Holowach and her husband are said to own a property in the area and spend the summer months there.
Patrick Keliher of the Maine Department of Marine Resources said a restored tooth fragment confirmed that the great white was responsible for the attack.
Marine Patrol State Major Rob Beale added, “Julie and her husband were highly respected individuals, and the community is now in a really difficult time.”
Police confirmed that the Coast Guard was sending a small boat into the rescue, but stopped when they learned that two kayakers were helping to bring those two people back to shore in the water.
Back on shore, they were met by members of the Harpswell EMS squad.
The incident took place in Harpswell, Maine
Officials say the shark may have mistaken the former Kipling president for a seal
Swimmers and water sports enthusiasts are now urged to exercise caution around Bailey Island and to avoid swimming near schools of fish or seals until further notice.
Dr. James Sulikowski, a professor at Arizona State University who conducts shark research in New England, said, “Shark interactions with humans are very rare in Maine. I suspect the person (who was attacked) was mistaken as a food product.
“In this area of Maine, and depending on how close to the coast the event happened, it was a white shark, I think,” he told the Press Herald.
Sulikowksi said a seal was bitten by a shark on Sunday in Phippsburg, Maine and later died.
The U.S. Coast Guard was notified of a shark attack in Harpswell on Monday at 3:30 PM