Bahamas shark attack victim identified as Caroline DiPlacido


The Pennsylvania woman who was killed by a shark while snorkeling around the Bahamas with her family was identified Wednesday as a Gannon University employee.

Caroline DiPlacido, 58, of Millcreek Township, worked as a project coordinator at the campus in Erie when she died on the water excursion Tuesday, university officials said.

A 1986 graduate of the university, DiPlacido returned to campus in 2009 as a secretary for marketing and communications.

As a project coordinator, DiPlacido was active in the university’s Erie-G.A.I.N.S. Initiative and the Our West Bayfront organization. 

“Caroline was a powerful presence of kindness and friendship,” said Gannon University chaplain Michael Kesicki.

“The news in devastating, and she will be missed.”

Caroline DiPlacido was on a family vacation when she was fatally attacked by a bull shark.
Caroline DiPlacido was on a family vacation when she was fatally attacked by a bull shark.
Facebook/Caroline DiPlacido

In addition to her husband, David, DiPlacido leaves behind three children and her mother, as well as extended family and a wide network of friends.

Several of DiPlacido’s relatives declined to comment on the tragedy.

DiPlacido was a longtime employee of Gannon University.
DiPlacido was a longtime employee of Gannon University.
Facebook/Caroline DiPlacido

According to police, DiPlacido arrived in the Bahamas with four family members early Tuesday. The group was traveling on the Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas on a seven-day cruise, which departed from Florida on Sunday.

A spokesperson told CBS News that DiPlacido was attacked  by a bull shark while snorkeling in the picturesque Green Cay area “on an independent shore excursion.”

Authorities were alerted to the attack shortly after 3 p.m. Family members tried to rescue DiPlacido, who sustained “serious injuries to the left side of her body.”

Royal Caribbean International later confirmed that DiPlacido died after arriving at a local hospital.

“Royal Caribbean is providing support and assistance to the guest’s loved ones during this difficult time,” the company said in a statement.

Gannon University said it planned to hold a vigil in DiPlacido’s memory at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

“Let us remember Caroline with affection and hope,” the school counseled.

Caroline DiPlacido was on a family vacation when she was fatally attacked by a bull shark.
The Harmony of the Seas left Florida on Sunday.
AFP via Getty Images

Gannon University did not immediately respond to a request for comment.



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