Julie Dimperio Holowach, 63, of New York City, was identified on Tuesday by the Maine Department of Marine Resource as the woman who died in a shark attack on Monday
A 63-year-old New Yorker died Monday after being attacked by a great white shark off the Maine coast.
Julie Dimperio Holowach and her daughter were swimming in a wetsuit near Bailey Island, Harpswell, when an eyewitness saw her dive underwater. Experts say the shark might have thought it was a seal.
The U.S. Coast Guard said she was alerted to a shark attack shortly after 3:30 p.m. after Holowach's unharmed daughter, wearing a blue swimsuit, swam back to the coast and called for help.
Two kayakers were able to help Holowach, the former president of the Kipling accessories brand, get back on land so that she could be treated on land. Marine Patrol says her wife was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.
A viewer said the Maine Holowach news center was apparently thrown into the air by something underwater.
Another, Tom Whyte, told The Boston Globe that he had watched the mother and daughter laugh and enjoy their time in the water before Holowach slapped his arms.
After Holowach's daughter saw her mother disappear under water, she is said to have swam back to the shore to help. Then she collapsed in the sand and cried out for help according to witnesses.
Two kayakers then set off to bring their bodies back to the shore.
She was swimming with her daughter in a wetsuit near Bailey Island, Harpswell, when an eyewitness saw her dive underwater.
The U.S. Coast Guard said she was alerted to a shark attack shortly after 3:30 p.m. after Holowach's unharmed daughter, wearing a blue swimsuit, swam back to the coast and called for help
Officials confirmed that after the initial contact in a press conference on Tuesday morning, there were no additional shark sightings.
They called the attack "highly unusual" and said that the beaches were not closed, but that the swimmers were asked to avoid schools of fish and seals.
Holowach and her husband are believed to own a property in the area and to spend the summer months there.
Patrick Keliher of the Maine Department of Marine Resources said a salvaged tooth fragment confirmed that a large white man was responsible for the attack.
State Marine Patrol Major Rob Beale added, "Julie and her husband were very distinguished people and the community is currently in a difficult phase."
Police confirmed that the coast guard was sending a small boat to the rescue, but stopped when they found out that two kayakers helped bring these two people back on land in the water.
Back on the coast, they were received by members of the Harpswell EMS team.
Julie Dimpero, then President of Kipling, and Helena Christensen will attend the kick-off event for Kipling By Helena Christensen at the Gramercy Park Hotel Rooftop on April 10, 2013
Holowach was the former president of the Kipling accessories brand
The incident happened in Harpswell, Maine
Swimmers and boaters are now encouraged to exercise caution near Bailey Island and to avoid swimming near school fish or seals until further notice.
Dr. James Sulikowski, a professor at Arizona State University who conducts shark research in New England, said: “Shark interactions with humans are very rare in Maine. I suspect the person (who was attacked) was mistaken for food.
"In this area of Maine, and depending on how close the event was to the coast, it was probably a white shark," he told the Press Herald.
Sulikowksi said a seal was bitten by a shark on Sunday in Phippsburg, Maine and later died.
Kipling President Julie Dimperio takes part in Kipling's 25th anniversary celebration in 2012
Anne Nearman and Julie Dimperio take part in the Kipling 25th anniversary celebration
Bailey Island, Harpswell near Holowach, where he swam, is pictured
Kipling is known for its characteristic, furry monkey keychain (archive picture)
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