A US tourist visiting the Bahamas was killed by a shark on Monday, police in the Caribbean country said.

The unnamed 44-year-old woman, from Boston, was paddle-boarding off a resort on the island of New Providence, also home to the capital Nassau.

A lifeguard brought the woman and a male relative she was with to shore and performed CPR, according to a news release from the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

"The victim suffered significant trauma to the right side of her body," the statement said, and she was declared dead by emergency responders.

The resort was not named by police.

An investigation has been launched.

The Bahamas, an archipelago of more than 3,000 islands, is home to a number of beach resorts, and counts tourism as a major part of its economy.

Shark attacks there and elsewhere are rare, with 89 bites in the wild recorded worldwide last year by the International Shark Attack File, a data base maintained by the Florida Museum of Natural History, in the United States.

The Bahamas has recorded 33 unprovoked attacks since 1580, according to the database.

In 2019, an US mother visiting the country was killed by a shark while snorkeling with her family on a sideline excursion during a cruise.