Woman killed in shark attack during vacation with husband in the Bahamas

LOWELL, MA – Lauren Erickson Van Wart, a 44-year-old woman from Lowell, Massachusetts, was fatally attacked by a shark. She was tragically killed while on a dream vacation in the Bahamas with her husband, according to an announcement by the Royal Bahamas Police Force. The incident took place on the shores of the Sandals resort beach, where Van Wart was paddleboarding three-quarters of a mile from the coast.

Her husband, who was accompanying her at the time of the attack, managed to escape unscathed. Van Wart, however, sustained fatal injuries and died despite the efforts of a lifeguard, who rescued the couple and brought them back ashore.

Van Wart was a well-known figure in her Lowell neighborhood. Commemorating her loss, neighbor Beth Stack Emerson referred to her as a friendly figure who was always ready with a greeting. The couple had resided in their home for over ten years, and Van Wart was known for walking their pet dog around the neighborhood.

Waldron also shared that Van Wart held a position as a math editor at Curriculum Associates for nine years, where she was greatly admired. CEO Rob Waldron expressed his grief, praising her as a trusted colleague and friend whose commitment to her work was driven by the desire to improve learning outcomes. He said the team at Curriculum Associates mourns her loss and extends support to her bereaved husband and family.

Royal Bahamas Police have said the investigation into the attack is continuing.