AN urgent warning has been issued to swimmers after a diver was decapitated by a 19ft great white shark off the coast of Mexico.
Manuel López was scuba diving when he was killed by the beast in the first fatal shark attack of the year.
2Manuel López, who was in his 50s, was killed in a horrific shark attack2Great White shark surfacing off the coast of Guadalupe Island MexicoCredit: GettyHe was collecting ax tripe, a mollusc like a scallop, in the open ocean around 11.30am on January 6 when he was attacked by the shark in front of horrified fisherman.
López, who was in his 50s, had his head torn off and his shoulders shredded as the massive shark pounced off the coast of Benito Juarez, Sonora.
Fisherman José Bernal said anglers had been on high alert in the days before the attack as large white sharks had been spotted lurking in the ocean.
And according to Tracking Sharks, shellfish divers in Mexico are told to wear black wetsuits and urged to wear stripy patterns to make themselves stand out in the ocean.
Great white sharks migrate to the area to feed in December and January – and pregnant females often prey on sea-lions and seals.
It means the beasts often mistake divers for their natural prey due to the dark colour of the wetsuits.
It’s though López could have been targeted due to the colour of his diving suit.
Bernal said López was diving when the animal ambushed him, “ripping off his head and biting both shoulders”.
He said thousands of anglers had been staying onshore amid fears of being attacked.
“Local divers had been warned about the presence of sharks in the area and most had not been out for several days,” he told Tracking Sharks.
But it’s understood financial pressures meant López decided to dive into the waters in what would be his final trip out.
He lived in the nearby town of Paredón Colorado.
The sea off Mexico is home to one of the world’s biggest great white sharks, known as Deep Blue.
Incredible footage shows the 22ft ocean giant swimming dangerously close to a pair of brave divers in Guadalupe.
Weighing an enormous 2.5 tonnes, the 50-year-old predator dwarfed the divers as they reached out to interact with the beast.
In July 2016, an enormous shark, nicknamed the White Death, was snapped off the coast of Guadalupe, Mexico.
The exact measurement of the great white were not taken, but a visual comparison with the current record holder suggests the shark it could be a world record contender.
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk