Surfer dies after shark attack off Réunion Island

A man has died after his leg was severed by a shark while he surfed off the coast of France's Indian Ocean island of La Réunion on Thursday, the second person to die from a shark attack close to the island's shores this year, and the 24th fatality since a markedly high number of attacks began there in 2011.

This article is freely available. Check out our subscription offers. Subscribe

A surfer has been killed in a shark attack off the coast of the French island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean, reports BBC News.

The man, reported to be in his late 20s, was surfing off the small fishing town of Saint-Leu when the attack took place on Thursday.

The local government confirmed that a surfer had been killed as it called for vigilance in the sea.

Surfing and other water activities are heavily restricted on Réunion due to the high risk of shark attacks.

The attack took place at about 16.30 local time (12.30 GMT) off the coast of Saint-Leu, on the west of the island.

A witness alerted rescue officials, telling them a surfer had disappeared from the surface of the water and that only his board was visible from the shore, the local government said in a statement.

It gave no details about the identity of the surfer.

Rescue officials told French media that the shark tore off one of the surfer's legs, and his body was later recovered from the port of Saint-Leu, where he was pronounced dead.

Three other people surfing with the man got back to shore safely, they said.

The incident reportedly took place in an area where surfing is prohibited.

Ahead of the attack, the local government had issued a statement on Thursday morning urging caution in the sea, citing the risk of bull shark attacks amid shifting temperatures.

Read more of this report from BBC News.

 

Extend your reading on Mediapart Unlimited access to the Journal free contribution in the Club Subscribe