Seychelles shark attack leaves Briton dead

Ian Redmond and Gemma Houghton The newlyweds were in the second week of their luxury honeymoon

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A British man has died in a shark attack while on honeymoon in the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean.

Ian Redmond, 30, from Lancashire, survived the attack off Anse Lazio beach on Praslin, but died afterwards, a local police spokesman said.

He lost an arm and suffered severe hip injuries whilst snorkelling on Tuesday in what was the second fatal shark attack in the same area this month.

Authorities have stopped diving in the area as they try to catch the shark.

Mr Redmond and Gemma Houghton were in the second week of their honeymoon and had been due to fly home on Sunday, police spokesman Jean Toussaint said.

He said two men on a catamaran had assisted Mr Redmond just after 1700 local time and he was taken to hospital, but had no chance of surviving.

"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," he said.

'Freak accident'

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

A 36-year-old French tourist was killed by a shark off the same beach just over two weeks ago.

The Seychelles Tourism Board's director Alain St Ange told the BBC the latest attack was caused by a "foreign shark" and was a "freak accident".

He said: "We need to find the beast and get it out of our waters, we have requested help from South Africa and two experts are arriving in the country in the next day."

British High Commissioner Matthew Forbes was with the bride and her family were due to arrive in the east African country, he said.

Analysis

The Seychelles is not known as a hot spot for shark attacks, which makes the two recent fatal attacks all the more unusual.

According to the International Shark Attack File (ISAF), a programme run by marine biologists at the Florida Museum of Natural History, the majority of attacks occur in US waters.

From 2001 to 2010, there were more than 400 recorded attacks on people in the US, 268 occurring off the coast of Florida, 41 off Hawaii, 32 off California and 60 of North and South Carolina combined.

That compares to 120 attacks off Australia, 41 off South Africa, 20 off Brazil, and 12 off the Bahamas.

The number of unprovoked attacks has grown at a steady pace over the past century with each decade having more attacks than the previous, according to the ISAF.

But "the growth in shark attack numbers does not necessarily mean there is an increase in the rate of shark attack," says the ISAF. "Rather it most likely is reflective of the ever-increasing amount of time spent in the sea by humans, which increases the odds of interaction between the two affected parties."

"We have now closed the beach and all the surrounding beaches, and stopped diving in the area," he added.

Local restaurant owner Jeanne Vargiolu said she went to the beach on Tuesday after hearing sirens.

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

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

"It must be the same shark that attacked 16 days ago," she said.

An employee at the La Reserve hotel told the Press Association the man and his wife had been guests there.

The Foreign Office has confirmed the death and said it was providing consular assistance to next of kin.

Prior to this month's deaths, the last recorded fatal shark attack in the Seychelles was in 1963.

There were 79 recorded attacks in 2010, of which six resulted in deaths, according to the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

There were 16 more attacks than in 2009 but one fewer than in 2000, it said.

Of the 400 or so species of shark, only a handful are associated with attacks on humans.

They include the white shark, tiger shark and bull shark, and less commonly the great hammerhead, oceanic whitetip, and certain reef sharks.

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