Shark Attacks, Injures Surfer At Reunion Island

A surfer was attacked by a shark on Wednesday at Reunion Island, a french territory in the Indian Ocean known for possessing one of the most dangerous coastlines in the world.

The surfer, who has yet to be named, was described as a man in his 40s, and suffered a serious injury to his arm while paddling through a channel at St. Leu. Lifeguards described him as a “regular surfer” in the area, and noted he was in “clear water” and “very good weather conditions” when he was attacked, as Discovery News reports. Witnesses to the shark attack said the surfer had “a good chunk of his arm torn off” by the predator, in just the latest incident to transpire at Reunion. After emergency physicians applied a tourniquet to his arm, the man was transported to a hospital while still conscious.

The attack marks the 18th shark incident at Reunion Island since 2011. While the man’s injuries haven’t proven to be fatal, seven people have been killed by sharks off the island’s coast in the last four years, as Yahoo! News notes. The economy of Reunion, once focused on catering to tourists and surf schools, has suffered in light of the attacks, which have forced the closures of most beaches and a wide-ranging ban on surfing.

Local officials have struggled to combat the staggering number of attacks, proposing a variety of solutions. Surfing is allowed in certain areas, under the guard of “shark watchers,” though attacks outside of their purview have not been prevented. Earlier this year, 13-year-old surfer Elio Canestri was killed by a shark while in the ocean at an unwatched beach. The French government approved increased fishing of tiger and bull sharks off Reunion following that incident.

As the Inquisitr recently reported, a magnetic shark barrier is being tested off South Africa, and considered for use in Reunion. A recent special, which aired during Discovery’s Shark Week, examined the shield, which involves the use of fake kelp beds along with powerful magnets to deter the sharks. A variety of other shark deterrent systems have been proposed for use at Reunion as well, though culling has proven to be highly controversial.

[Image via Wikipedia]

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