Stab Magazine | Tragic: Man Not Wearing Shark Deterrent Attacked And Killed In Reunion Island
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Tragic: Man Not Wearing Shark Deterrent Attacked And Killed In Reunion Island

Four friends paddled out, three of them were wearing shark-deterrent technology, one didn’t come back.

news // May 11, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 1 minute

Reunion Island’s eluded shark headlines for a while now. But tragically, today one of the sharkiest regions on planet earth is back in the news after a 28-year-old surfer was killed in a shark attack. 

Because of the deadly problem with bull sharks around Reunion, the government has banned surfing from many of the island’s breaks. The victim was reportedly surfing in a banned area at the time of the attack. There were three other surfers in the water, all three were wearing shark-deterrent technology around their ankles. The victim was not. The shark reportedly bit off one of the victim’s legs.

“[The] surfer was accompanied by three friends who tried to take him back to land but did not manage,” said Olivier Tainturier, an official from nearby Saint-Paul. 

After a lengthy search in the sea and air by authorities, the body was retrieved and brought back to the port of Saint-Leu where he was officially pronounced dead.

Just hours before the attack Reunion authorities had released an island-wide warning that bull shark activity was on the rise and anybody entering the ocean exercise the utmost caution and vigilance. 

“Reunion is entering a transitional period between the summer and the austral winter, with southern swell fronts sought by water sports enthusiasts, and the use of the Reunionese coast by bulldog sharks, potentially dangerous, is more important as one enters the austral winter with a seasonal cooling of the temperature of the sea water,” reads the warning.

“We will never reach zero-risk. Currently, we are deploying significant resources to ward off this risk [such as shark technology and prohibiting fishing]. But nature is often the strongest, that’s what the drama of today reminds us,” added Tainturier.

It is the 11th shark-related fatality on the island since 2011. The identity of the victim has not been released at this time.

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