It was the first fatal shark attack in the Arab country for five years, state media and a French embassy official said.
The woman's leg showed visible bite marks, and medics said she probably bled to death before being lifted to the surface.
A French female tourist has fallen victim to the first fatal shark attack in Egypt for five years. She was diving off the Red Sea coast when it happened (file photo)
Marsa Alam is a remote southern dive spot on the Red Sea coast frequented by tourists hoping to avoid the crowds at more popular sites in the Sinai peninsula, where tourists flock in large numbers for the colourful coral reefs.
'This very rarely happens. It seems that the victim aggravated the shark or presented it with food, which caused a change in the shark's behaviour,' Amr Ali, the president of the Society for the Preservation of the Red Sea Environment, said.
Sharks are common in the area and tourists often take pictures, but attacks are rare.
The last person killed by a shark in Egypt was reportedly attacked while snorkelling near the Sinai resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in 2004.
Egypt's Environment Ministry is looking to set up a natural reserve for the sharks near Marsa Alam, where it already has a similar reserve for dolphins
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1190366/Tourist-dies-Egypts-fatal-shark-attack-years.html#ixzz175na8rro