A surfer has been fatally wounded following a shark attack off the coast of the French island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean. The surfer, male, alleged to be in his late 20s, was surfing in the waters off St Leu (an area where surfing is prohibited) when the incident took place. This attack marks the 24th shark attack and the 11th fatal one reported on the French island since 2011.
Rescue officials told French media that the shark bit through one of the surfer’s legs, an injury he would later succumb to. Early reports indicate that a nearby surfer alerted officials, stating he had seen the man disappear from the surface of the water leaving only his board visible from the shore.
The government had issued warnings earlier in the week regarding a transitional period between the summer and the austral winter bringing in a seasonal cooling of the temperature of the sea water.
There is no real understanding as to why there is such a problem around the island, it could be due to shifting water temperatures, nearby breeding grounds or a high abundance of game fish.
Thoughts are with the family and local surf community.