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11:42 GMT +3 hours21 December 2014
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Egypt moves to improve tourist safety following shark attacks

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The Egyptian authorities are drawing up instructions for local hotels and diving centers intended to ensure security of tourists following recent shark attacks on swimmers in the Red Sea.

The Egyptian authorities are drawing up instructions for local hotels and diving centers intended to ensure security of tourists following recent shark attacks on swimmers in the Red Sea.

"In line with these instructions, hotels and diving centers will have to appoint special staff who will permanently supervise [swimming areas] and if needed, report sharks approaching [beaches]," the country's Ecology Ministry said in a statement.

One Ukrainian and three Russian tourists were mauled by sharks on Tuesday and Wednesday off the coast of Sharm el Sheikh, a popular diving destination. Two Russian women aged 70 and 48 and 54-old man lost their hands and received other injuries and are currently being treated in a Cairo hospital.

Following the attacks, the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism closed all beaches in the resort for 48 hours.

Two sharks suspected of the attacks were caught last week. Some experts said uncontrolled fishing in popular diving areas had left sharks without food and forced them to attack people.

The new instructions order the authorities to evacuate people from unsecure areas if a shark would be reported and search the sea. Feeding sharks with meat, which is common among divers, will be strictly prohibited.

Egyptian authorities have expressed hope that the attacks on swimmers will not scare tourists away from Red Sea resorts.

Tourism accounts for more than 11 percent of Egypt's GDP, 40 percent of the country's non-commodity exports and over 19 percent of foreign currency revenues.

CAIRO, December 5 (RIA Novosti)