NYC woman mauled to death by shark off Costa Rican coast

A Manhattan private equity director was fatally mauled by a shark while scuba diving off the coast of Costa Rica, authorities said.

Rohina Bhandari, 49, was identified by friends as the American tourist who was attacked by a tiger shark off of remote Isla del Coco Thursday.

Bhandari was hauled out of the water after sustaining severe bites to both of her legs, Costa Rica’s Environment Ministry said.

Park guards and medical personal vacationing on the island launched a frantic effort to treat her wounds.

But Bhandari, a senior director at WL Ross & Co. LL, could not be saved, officials said.

13 PHOTOS
Rohina Bhandari, NYC finance exec killed by shark
See Gallery
Rohina Bhandari, NYC finance exec killed by shark
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14: Kim Standish (L) and Rohina Bhandari attend The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award USA New York Metropolitan Chapter at JW Marriott Essex House on May 14, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award USA)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14: (L-R) Kim Standish, Jeffrey Rosenthal and Rohina Bhandari attend The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award USA New York Metropolitan Chapter at JW Marriott Essex House on May 14, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award USA)
DECEMBER 15: Rohina Bhandari attends Lawlor Media Group Holiday Party at Beekman Bar and Books NYC on December 15, 2008. (Photo by CHANCE YEH /Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 2: Gail Tobias and Rohina Bhandari attend Vanessa Noel and Susan Rockefeller Host a Holiday Party for OCEANA at Vanessa Noel on December 2, 2010 in New York. (Photo by WILL RAGOZZINO/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
- AUGUST 13: Rohina Bhandari attends GUILD HALL SUMMER GALA, CELEBRATING THE OPENING OF THE BARBARA KRUGER EXHIBITION at the Guild Hall on August 13, 2010 in East Hampton, NY. (Photo by ADRIEL REBOH/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - APRIL 1: Jerry Hourihan and Rohina Bhandari attend EAST SIDE HOUSE SETTLEMENT Gala Preview of the 2010 NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW at Javits Center on April 1, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by NEIL RASMUS/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
MONTAUK, NY - AUGUST 9: Rohina Bhandari attends MIGUEL FORBES Birthday Party at The Highlander on August 9, 2008 in Montauk, NY. (Photo by DAVID X PRUTTING/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
SOUTHAMPTON, NY - JULY 5: Rohina Bhandari attends Social Life Magazine Hosts Party For July Cover Star Zoe McLellan, Sponsored by Sarar, Peroni & Blue StarJets at Private Residence on July 5, 2008 in Southampton, NY. (Photo by ADRIEL REBOH/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - NOVEMBER 29: Rohina Bhandari and Nancy Pearson attend DELLIS CAY NEW YORK LAUNCH CELEBRATION at Mandarin Oriental on November 29, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by NEIL RASMUS/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Kirsi Jarvinen, Rohina Bhandari and Nancy Pearson (Photo by Niche Media/WireImage for Niche Media, LLC) *** Local Caption ***
Anne Betts, Rohina Bhandari during L'lardo Boutique Launching the First Collection Under the Artistic Direction of Jaime Hayon Entitled Re-Deco at L'ladro in New YOrk City, New York, United States. (Photo by Brian Ach/WireImage for Niche Media, LLC)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - DECEMBER 6: Rohina Bhandari attends BRIC'S Holiday Shopping Party to Benefit NEW YORKERS FOR CHILDREN at BRIC'S on December 6, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Billy Farrell/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

A dive master also suffered a shark bite but those injuries were not life-threatening.

The instructor, who was conscious and in relatively stable condition, told officials that the shark attacked when his group was surfacing at the tail end of the dive.

A boater and other divers tried to drive the creature away but it was too late.

“Upon reaching the surface, the attack on the tourist was already serious,” the environment ministry said.

Bhandari was among a group of 18 people diving off Cocos Island National Park, a World Heritage Site that’s known for its abundant species of sharks.

One of the largest sharks in the world, Tiger sharks are known for their powerful teeth and voracious appetites.

RELATED: States with the most shark attacks

11 PHOTOS
States with the most shark attacks historically
See Gallery
States with the most shark attacks historically

10. New York: 10 unprovoked attacks

Photo: Getty

9. Georgia: 13 unprovoked attacks

Photo: Getty

8. New Jersey: 15 unprovoked attacks

Photo: Getty

7. Oregon: 26 unprovoked attacks

Photo: Getty

6. Texas: 41 unprovoked shark attacks

The expansive Glaveston beach has had 17 total confirmed attacks.

Photo: Getty

5. North Carolina: 60 unprovoked attacks

New Hanover County has had 13 confirmed shark attacks since 1935.

Photo: Getty

4. South Carolina: 90 unprovoked attacks

Throughout its history, Charleston County has had 32 shark incidents.

Photo: Getty

3. California: 116 unprovoked attacks

San Diego had 17 attacks occur near its beaches.

Photo: Getty

2. Hawaii: 143 unprovoked attacks

56 occurred in Maui, home to Wailea and Mākena beaches.

Photo: Getty

1. Florida: 748 unprovoked attacks 

At least 275 confirmed attacks occurred in Volusia County, home to New Smyrna and Dayton beaches.

Photo: Getty

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Bhandari, who lived on the Upper East Side, was a regular presence on the Manhattan charity circuit.

Her sudden, shocking death prompted several friends to post anguished notes on her Facebook page.

“Unbelievably sad and heartbreaking news that Rohina has died,” wrote Julie Walker. “She was such a wonderful person who loved life. I will always remember her kindness, friendship and our adventures together.”

Christi Collins Weild wrote that “nobody lit up a room like” Bhandari.

“Your kindness and genuine warmth to those of us lucky enough to call you ‘friend’ was a blessing to behold,” she added.

“Rest peacefully, dear one. You will be so missed.”

Bhandari had been working at the investment firm founded by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross since 2013, according to her LinkedIn page.

“Rohina you were the brightest of lights that went out much too soon,” Ashley Gendron wrote on her Facebook page. “My life was richer for having known you.”

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.