Shark rips surfer's arm off
21/08/2006 16:12 - (SA)
Saint Denis - A man who had his arm ripped off by a shark while surfing off Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean died in hospital overnight, paramedics in the French territory said on Monday.
The 34-year-old, identified as Sebastien Emond, was bitten by the shark while surfing on Sunday with two friends in an area known as Pointe du Diable (Devil's Point), to the south of the island.
The friends managed to drag him 100 metres through the water back to the beach in constant fear that the big fish was going to return.
"I saw a trail of blood behind them and I was really afraid that the shark was going to come back," said a fisherman who witnessed the attack.
Emond collapsed unconscious from blood loss and was only kept alive by paramedics who carried out heart massage and tied off the severed shoulder.
He was then taken to hospital in the nearest town of Saint Pierre and operated on, but did not survive his injuries.
Sharks are common around Reunion Island, which lies east of Madagascar. The Pointe du Diable was known to be dangerous for that reason, yet surfers continue to swim there.
The last shark attack recorded on the island was in October 2004, when a 15-year-old surfer lost a leg but survived.
The last fatal attacks were seven years ago.
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