Sunday 25 February 2018

Honeymoon shark attack victim had no chance – police

Ian Redmond and Gemma Houghton on their wedding day
Ian Redmond and Gemma Houghton on their wedding day

Neil Lancefield and Arj Singh

A newly married man killed by a shark in the Seychelles had "no chance of surviving", police said today.

Ian Redmond, 30, was on honeymoon when the attack happened yesterday off Anse Lazio beach on Praslin, the second largest island in the Indian Ocean archipelago.

One onlooker said she saw the victim's wife saying she "still had hope" for her husband while he lay on the beach with horrific injuries.

Earlier this month a 36-year-old French tourist was killed by a shark in the same area.

Government officials have issued a ban on swimming in certain areas until the shark is captured.

The latest victim Ian Martin Redmond, from Lancashire, England was on honeymoon with his wife when he was fatally attacked.

Mr Redmond's parents and those of his wife were travelling to the Seychelles following the attack, it was reported.

Jeanne Vargiolu, 56, owner of a nearby restaurant, said she went to the beach after hearing ambulance sirens to find a French doctor treating the man and "a lot of police officers" surrounding him.

She said police told her the man had lost one arm, had a badly damaged leg and holes in his chest and stomach from shark bites.

"I saw his wife talking to about five people - I think one was English - that she still had hope he was still alive," she said.

She added: "They were trying to help him but they could not get him alive."

Police spokesman Jean Toussaint said the attack happened shortly before 5pm local time while Mr Redmond was swimming.

He said: "We discovered that the British citizen was badly injured on the hips and the arms. He was assisted medically but unfortunately he could not make it.

"We haven't got the autopsy report yet but he definitely lost a lot of blood."

He said Mr Redmond lost an arm in the attack and was taken to hospital, but could not be saved.

"He had no chance of surviving because of the nature of the injuries," he added.

Mr Toussaint confirmed that Mr Redmond and his wife were in the second week of their honeymoon and had been due to fly home on Sunday.

He said "a big effort" was being made to catch the shark.

"We had this first incident two weeks ago and for the local community it was a freak incident because it had never been reported before around the islands.

"It took everybody by surprise."

The last recorded fatal shark attack in the Seychelles was in 1963.

Ms Vargiolu said no-one swam in the sea after yesterday's attack as they were "in shock".

Her family have lived on the beach for 36 years and she said the two shark attacks this month were the first she had seen.

"It must be the same shark," she said.

Chantal Andre, who works at Anse Lazio's beach restaurant, saw the attack and told the Daily Mail the man's wife did not cry and seemed to be in shock when she accompanied her to hospital.

The newspaper said many of the beaches and snorkelling spots close to Praslin were closed yesterday.

Director for tourism Alain St Ange told the newspaper: "We are taking this very seriously. If there is a rogue shark out there we will try to catch it.

"We have requested shark experts from South Africa to come over to Seychelles to help us identify the type of shark it could be, but this kind of thing has never ever happened in Seychelles before."

Seychelles minister for home affairs and environment Joel Morgan held an emergency meeting in the capital, Victoria.

Praslin is the location of the Vallee de Mai Unesco World Heritage Site, where the rare coco-de-mer tree grows.

It lies 27,9 miles (45km) north of Mahe, the largest island in the archipelago, and measures 6.2 miles (10km) by 2.3 miles (3.7km), according to the official tourism website for the Seychelles.

The Seychelles is one of the most popular exotic destinations for British honeymooners, lying in the Indian Ocean between the Tropic of Capricorn and the equator.

It has warm weather, white sand beaches and the opportunity for seclusion, luxury and romance.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent their honeymoon on North Island, four years after they took a week-long break on the island of Desroches.

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