Shark kills honeymooner: Bride's horror as she sees Briton savaged off Seychelles beach
By Lydia Warren and Tim Ecott
A British honeymooner was killed by a shark in the Seychelles today, as his bride watched in horror from the beach.
The 30-year-old man, who had been snorkelling 20 yards off shore, suffered appalling injuries to his leg and arm in the second fatal attack in the area in two weeks.
The tragedy unfolded in Anse Lazio on the island of Praslin, regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful beaches and a favourite honeymoon destination for thousands of Britons every year.
Honeymoon destination: The British honeymooner was snorkelling 20 yards off shore at Anse Lazio beach (pictured), off the island of Praslin in the
The victim’s 27-year-old wife was sun-bathing when his cries for help echoed across the shore.
Within moments a holidaymaker in a dinghy had dragged him on board and brought him ashore, where onlookers battled in vain to save him.
‘We heard screaming and people started running down the beach towards the water,’ one American tourist said.
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‘Someone had seen a fin sticking out of the water, and then we saw a dinghy pulling a man from the water.
‘I saw the swimmer, who was missing a huge chunk of flesh from his left leg, so much so that I could see the bone of his thigh. He was sickeningly pale, but still had his flippers on both feet.
‘At this point a woman ran over and started screaming. She said: “That’s my husband! We were just married”.
Savaged: It is not known yet what type of shark attacked the 30-year-old honeymooner yet, but it could possibly have been a great white (library image pictured)
‘Someone grabbed her and tried to keep her away. People all over the beach were just hugging whoever was close to them or trying to keep any children from witnessing what was going on.’
The man, who is thought to have died moments after the attack, was taken away by ambulance 20 minutes after being brought to shore.
It is believed another holidaymaker who was a doctor tried to administer first aid.
The eye witness continued: ‘The damage was too great. We kept his wife away from the body because it was too horrific for her to see.’
Chantal Andre, who works at Anse Lazio’s beach restaurant, also saw the attack.
‘I went to the hospital with the man’s wife and it was just awful,’ she said.
‘She wasn’t crying at all, she just couldn’t believe he was dead. I suppose she was in total shock.’
The Seychelles: Praslin Island is one of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean that make up the Seychelles
It is understood that the bride’s parents are on their way to the Seychelles to comfort her.
Today the authorities closed many of the beaches and snorkelling spots close to Praslin, one of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean that make up the Seychelles.
And questions were asked about what action was taken following the first fatal attack on a diver just two weeks ago.
Alain St. Ange, director for tourism, said: ‘We are taking this very seriously. If there is a rogue shark out there we will try to catch it.
‘We have requested shark experts from South Africa to come over to Seychelles to help us identify the type of shark it could be – but this kind of thing has never ever happened in Seychelles before.’
Seychelles minister for home affairs and environment Joel Morgan held an emergency meeting in the capital Victoria last night to discuss what could be done to protect visitors and locals from a shark that some believe may not be native to Seychelles waters.
The most common species around the islands is the whale shark, which only feeds on plankton and microscopic plants.
Paradise: Around 19,000 British tourists travel to the exotic Indian Ocean islands of Seychelles each year
Two weeks ago a French tourist was killed by a shark off the same beach – the first attack since a fisherman died after being bitten in 1963.
Nicolas Virolle, 36, was deep-sea diving when he was savaged.
At the time, police spokesman Jean Toussaint said: ‘Other tourists on the beach tried to help him, but he died as his injuries were serious. The injuries looked like a shark bite.’
Around 19,000 British tourists travel to the exotic Indian Ocean islands of Seychelles each year.
This year they included the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who spent ten days there on a private island after their wedding.
A spokesman for the UK Foreign Office said: ‘We are aware of the incident and are providing full consular assistance to the family.’
The British High Commissioner Matthew Forbes flew from the main island of Mahe to Praslin last night to offer help to the widow of the British shark attack victim.
Speaking from La Reserve hotel, where the honeymooners had been staying, he said he could not release the name or family details of the victim until family in the UK had been informed.