Home / Top Story / NYC woman mauled to death by shark off Costa Rican coast

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.

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Rohina Bhandari was scuba diving at Isla del Coco, off the coast of Costa Rica.

(Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

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.

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A tiger shark.

(Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

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.

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.

Rohina Bhandari.

Rohina Bhandari.


“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.”

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