New York executive mauled to death by tiger shark while diving in Costa Rica

NEW YORK – A Manhattan private equity director was killed by a tiger shark while scuba diving off the coast of Costa Rica, authorities said.

Rohina Bhandari, 49, was identified by friends as the victim of the shark attack off the coast of Isla del Coco Thursday morning. Costa Rica’s Ministry of Environment and Energy identified Bhandari only by her last name.

She was ascending to the surface during her dive when she was attacked, officials said. Her diving guide tried to scare the female shark off, but it was too late.

Bhandari suffered severe bites to both of her legs, Costa Rican officials said. She died from the wounds.

The guide was also injured in the attack, but he survived.

There are about 14 species of shark in the area, officials said. They hadn't presented a threat until the Thursday attack.

Friends posted messages online after news came out about Bhandari's death.

"Desperately sad to hear of the tragic, untimely passing of my dear friend Rohina Bhandari," one man tweeted. "Always generous & gregarious, she was a mainstay of my social life in NYC."