A woman from New York City was killed in Maine this week by a great white shark who authorities say is still on the loose.
The New York Post reported that Julie Dimperio Holowach, 63, was swimming with her daughter about 20 yards off the coast of Bailey Island when she was attacked by a shark, which police were able to identify as a great white because the animal left behind a fragment of a tooth.
Though kayakers were able to rescue Holowach and her daughter and get them to shore, the victim was dead by the time paramedics arrived on the scene. She was wearing a wetsuit at the time, and authorities believe this may have caused the shark to mistake her for a seal.
CBS Local reported that this is only the second unprovoked shark attack in Maine’s recorded history.
“This is a highly unusual event,” said Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher.
Holowach had been a successful businesswoman who was president of the company Kipling North American for a decade before retiring in 2016. Since then, she has served on the board of the Portland, Maine-based company Sea Bags, according to WWD.
“There are many ways to consider a legacy in someone like Julie,” said Maria Vicari-Tralongo, former president of Nautica Apparel. “Her contributions to the industry and the Kipling brand are noteworthy but I believe that she has left a more important legacy in the many coworkers and the friends and family who were all touched by her amazing spirit, her unique and enviable way of leading, mentoring and supporting of others. I am devastated by the sudden loss of my dear friend Julie.”
Karen Murray, the former head of sportswear for VF Corp., also paid tribute to Holowach:
“I’ve known her for 25 years. She was excited to retire and had everything she needed — her health, happiness, husband and children. She loved Bailey Island and went there often and also spent time in Florida, but she always wanted more time for family.
She was a lovely, caring, dedicated, loyal, smart innovative fashion executive with strong merchandising and sales expertise. She became a strong direct-to-consumer operator absorbing herself in both retail and online businesses. She was sharp as a tack and knew how to make money. Her team loved her and she will be sorely missed.”
Aside from her daughter, Holowach is survived by her husband and son, as well as two stepsons and several grandchildren.