Great white shark
An American tourist from Connecticut vacationing in Turks and Caicos had her leg bitten off by a shark while snorkeling near a resort.

The victim, who has not been identified, was in the waters off Blue Haven Resort on Providenciales Island around 3 p.m. Wednesday when she was attacked by a shark, according to a statement from the Royal Turks and Caicos Island Police Department.

Police got a 911 call from a resort staffer, reporting that the tourist had her leg bitten off and requesting an ambulance.

It was not immediately known how the seriously injured victim fought off the apex predator and made it back ashore.

First responders who arrived on the scene near the Leeward Marina rushed the woman to Cheshire Hall Medical Centre, where she remained in serious condition, police said.

According to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File, there were 57 unprovoked shark bites worldwide last year, including five resulting in death.

It's unclear what type of shark attacked the Connecticut resident, but Turks and Caicos is home to grey reef sharks, nurse sharks and lemon sharks.

According to a tourism website, there have been only three recorded shark attacks on humans in Turks and Caicos — not counting Wednesday's incident.