Hundreds line the beaches in tribute to surf champion (13) killed by a shark
Published 13/04/2015 | 12:03
Tributes have been poured for a 13-year-old surfing champion who was killed in a shark attack.
Hundreds gathered on a beach in silent tribute to Elio Canestri, who was attacked on Sunday morning while surfing with several friends off the coast of the French holiday island of Reunion.
The young surf champion was bodyboarding in an area banned to swimmers due to the high risk of sharks, when the attack took place.
Less than 50 feet from the shore, the youngster was knock off his board when a large Tiger shark came up from beneath him.
Witnesses described Elio being flung around the water as the shark tore off the child's arms, legs and part of his stomach, before dragging him out to sea.
In the last four years, there have been 16 shark attacks around Reunion Island, seven of them resulting in deaths, which is in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar.
The area is known for its Tiger shark population, and large areas of sea were first banned to swimmers in July 2013 after the killing of a 15-year-old girl.
A 23-year-old man was attacked in similar circumstances last October. He survived but lost his right leg.