A surfer was killed by a shark in Reunion over the weekend.
According to NBC News, 13-year-old Elio Canestri was killed when he was attacked by a shark while bodyboarding on Sunday morning. The surfing champion was in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Reunion island when the shark grabbed him around the abdomen. The shark flung the boy’s body around, and tore his limbs off. The gruesome attack happened as Canestri was getting ready to ride a wave. In a split second, everything changed.
— Fananza (@FananzaSports) April 13, 2015
“A boat was launched very quickly, and the victim was dragged out of the sea, but he died from his wounds. Those who witnessed the attack, including other children, are being treated for trauma,” said an official familiar with the case. The surfer killed by a shark in Reunion was remembered in a ceremony on the beach today. According to Mail Online, thousands of people showed up to pay their respects, and to remember Canestri, who died doing what he loved to do.
“Thousands of mourners have lined a popular surfing beach to pay tribute to [the] 13-year-old… In stirring scenes, thousands of mourners then gathered on Les Aigrettes beach, on the western coast of the island, to pay respects to the teenager.”
— Jason Gastrich (@jasonagastrich) April 13, 2015
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, there have been 16 shark attacks in the waters off the coast of Reunion in the past four years alone. Because of this, the local government announced a ban on many activities in the waters, but approved some in specific areas — which is where Elio was likely surfing. He was about 50 feet off the beach’s coast when the shark attacked him. It is unclear what type of shark attacked Elio, or what types of sharks have been attacking people in the area. Great Whites are known to roam South Africa’s waters, which aren’t too far away.
“It is horrific. The boy was always smiling and happy – everybody knew him. A gendarme helicopter appeared very quickly, and we were all told to evacuate the beach,” said a witness.
A Facebook page has been set up in Elio’s honor. There are already over 7,000 likes on the page. His family and friends are still in shock following this tragedy.
[Photo via Facebook]