Community 'Heartbroken' After Mass Woman Killed By Shark In Bahamas

Coworkers and friends of the 44-year-old Massachusetts woman who was killed by a shark while on vacation in the Bahamas say they are heartbroken and shocked by her death. 

Lauren Van Wart

Lauren Van Wart

Photo Credit: LinkedIn/Lauren Erickson Van Wart

Lauren Van Wart, of Lowell, located northwest of Boston, was attacked by a shark on Monday, Dec. 4, about a mile from Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort while she was paddleboarding with a relative, the Royal Bahamas Police Force said. 

Van Wart worked at Curriculum Associates, an educational material company in Billerica. Rob Waldron, CEO of the company, said she was a beloved member of the company. 

Our team is heartbroken and grieving the loss of a dear and trusted colleague and friend. Lauren was a beloved member of our math editorial team, and she infused her deep dedication to students and educators into every material she touched. Her commitment to excellence and outstanding work was driven by a higher purpose, focused on improving learning outcomes for all. Our Curriculum Associates community is mourning this tragedy and extends our deepest love and support to Lauren’s wonderful husband and all of her family.

Her neighbor told Boston 25 that Van Wart would have been excited to make the trip to the tropical five-star resort. 

“Trip of a lifetime," said Beth Stack-Emerson. "It’s heartbreaking. It really is. “Shocking, I mean these poor people they probably looked forward to this vacation for months.”

Sandals Resort said they are working with Bahamanian officials as they investigate what led up to the attack. 

We are deeply saddened by the tragic passing of a guest while on a paddleboarding activity nearly a mile from the shore. We wish to express our heartfelt condolences to the guest’s family and loved ones. We remain in close contact with them and are providing all support possible during this difficult time. Out of respect for our guests’ privacy and confidentiality, we cannot share further information at this time.

Police are not sure what kind of shark attacked Van Wart, but shark officials have said there are many species of shark there.

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