Tuesday morning a 26 year old man was attacked by a shark in Réunion. The man practicing body boarding at the mouth of the rivière du Mât à Saint-André, on the eastern side of the island. He succumbed to his injuries. The last shark attack had occurred on the island there 7 months.
The young bodyboarder 26 years practicing body boarding at the mouth of the rivière du Mât à Saint-André, on the eastern side of the island when he was attacked.
“The firefighters removed his body from the water around 9:30 am” (5:30 GMT), confirmed Marie-Lise Chane-To, first deputy mayor of Saint-André at the microphone of a local radio.
Deemed a hazardous area
The attack occurred in an area deemed dangerous, forbidden for swimming and boating.
“The danger of the site was reported by bathing panels that ban swimming and water activities, but they were damaged during the weekend” , said Marie-Lise Chane To, deputy mayor of Saint-André.
Accompanied by a few friends, the young man was in full session boogie when he was snapped up by a shark. Distraught, his companions managed to get out of the water and alerted the emergency services.
“Right after the accident, residents indicated that a group of young people came to bodyboard for two or three days on this spot”, said a source close to law enforcement.
Situated at the mouth of a river, the area is known to be dangerous, as is the entire coastline of the island.
“The post-attack procedure as provided in the emergency department of Reunion for the management of the sharks risk is enabled. This device provides for the implementation of targeted fishing operations in the immediate vicinity of the site of the attack “, said the prefecture of Reunion in a statement.
Eighth deadly attack since 2011
This is the 20th shark attack since 2011. Eight of the attacks were fatal.
The last attack had occurred there seven months. Bitten twice a 21 year old bodyboarder had to have their right arm and leg amputated.
The previous fatal attack occurred in April 2015. A surfer of 13 years had died.
Various preventive measures are in place which include a ban water activities, target catch of sharks off the coast, set up nets to the main beaches, and have been in place in recent years to face this increase in attacks.