(NEW YORK POST) – The fiancé of the Wall Street exec who was killed by a shark off Costa Rica last week blames the diving company she was with for not keeping her safe.
“Apparently they didn’t have any protection — the divers or the instructors had nothing to ward off any of these fish, sharks,’’ plastic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Rosenthal told The Post in an exclusive interview Monday as he grieved for his girlfriend, Rohina Bhandari, 49.
“I don’t understand that aspect of it, that there was no protection for her or for the other guests for that matter,” the doctor said. “I just feel that the safety precautions they took were not as good as they should have had.”
Bhandari, a senior private-equity director for WL Ross & Co., was killed by a female tiger shark while scuba-diving Thursday.
Rosenthal said he found some solace in knowing that at least his fiancee died doing what she loved.
“She loved seeing the fish,” he said, noting her prior dives in Jamaica, the Galapagos Islands and the Bahamas. “The wildlife fascinated her.”
Rosenthal referred to his late fiancee as “a 10-star person” — who always had a smile on her face and touched the lives of everyone around her.
He described her as the more outgoing of the pair, saying, “We’d go to an affair or party, and within 5 minutes she’d know everyone in the place.”
Rosenthal recalled one instance, at President Trump’s inauguration party, when she introduced him to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan — after meeting Ryan’s wife in the ladies room.
“She was someone who befriended everyone,” he explained.
Remembering their first date, when he was just returning home from a beach trip, Rosenthal said, “She was all dressed up in makeup and jewelry and was really beautiful, and I’m wearing a pair of shorts, and I’m like, I can’t compete.
“There was a universe of stars, and she was the brightest,” Rosenthal said.
The surgeon had now been tasked with caring for Bhandari’s 7-year-old golden Labrador, Simba, after making a promise to her back when they first began dating.
“When we started going out many years ago, the deal was that I accept them both,” Rosenthal said.
“And I accepted them with open arms, and a while later she said, ‘Well when are you going to adopt him as yours,’ and I said, ‘He’s adopted, he’s mine now,’ so Simba and I are now together.”
Countless people have reached out to Rosenthal since his fiancee’s death, asking for ways to help him with the loss, both emotionally and financially, he said.
He has asked people to contribute to the South African based foundation, US Friends of Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center,which Bhandari supported. The foundation, he says, will name their next new animal after her.