A surfer died on Monday in a shark attack off of the coast of France’s Indian Ocean island of La Reunion, according to emergency services.
The Washington Post reports that the 22-year old surfer, Alexandre Rassica, of La Reunion, passed away after a shark bit through his leg while he was surfing 100 meters off shore.
Fellow surfers saw the attack and were able to haul Rassica to the beach, but by the time emergency officials arrived, Rassica was in cardiac arrest. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful, despite an hour of attempts.
The Huffington Post notes that Monday’s attack is the ninth shark attack fatality recorded in La Reunion since 1972. Last year, the island saw two fatal shark attacks, including one where sharks shredded a surfer’s leg, also severing his right arm.
Since these attacks, which occurred in June and September of 2011, have prompted local authorities to step up monitoring, but the monitoring did not help on Monday, since the attack occurred just one hour after monitoring at the beach had ended, The Guardian reports.
Shark attacks in the Indian Ocean are on the rise, especially off the coast of Australia. The majority of victims have been surfers. According to The Huffington Post, this is also not the first extreme shark attack to be reported in 2012. Just last week, a great white shark was accused of biting a surfer in half off of Australia’s western coast.
The International Shark Attack File shows that in 2011, there were 12 deaths from unprovoked shark attacks around the world. Although shark attacks are often huge in the news, however, activists point out that humans are a much bigger threat to sharks than sharks are to humans. About 30 to 70 million sharks are killed in fisheries per year, according to George Burgess, the file’s director.
Authorities are not yet sure what kind of shark was responsible for the shark attack that killed Alexandre Rassica of La Reunion, France on Monday.