Shark kills honeymooner in island paradise

/ Source: msnbc.com

A shark attack in the Seychelles left a British honeymooner dead and the island nation shaken as family members and local officials coped with the second deadly attack this month.

The shark struck on Tuesday while Ian Redmond, 30, snorkeled 20 yards from the shore at around 4:30 p.m. local time, witnesses said.

A dingy brought the wounded man ashore alive, but emergency personnel could not save him as bystanders tried to hold back his wife of two weeks, Gemma Houghton, 27, The Guardian reported.

Redmond reportedly suffered bites on his legs and chest and lost an arm in the attack.

Beachside restaurant owner Jeanne Vargiolu witnessed the rescue efforts.

“I saw his wife talking to about five people — I think one was English — that she still had hope he was still alive,” she told the Guardian. “They were trying to help him but they could not.”

In a tribute to her husband released by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Houghton wrote: "The loss of Ian has left a gaping hole in our hearts that will never be filled."

The couple were married on Aug. 6.

Earlier this month, a French tourist, Nicolas François Virolle, 36, bled to death after a shark attack in the same area, leading to speculation that one animal may be responsible for both incidents, The Telegraph reported.

Seychelles’ officials rushed to allay fears about the unprecedented second fatal attack in less than a month by calling the animal “foreign.”

“The Seychelles is really innocent in this drama,” the country’s tourism board director Alain St Ange told BBC News. “It is a foreign shark... it is a rogue shark that has caused a freak accident.”

Experts from South Africa were en route to assist the search for the killer shark in wake of the tragedy, which threatens one of the Seychelles’ most important industries, tourism. According to The CIA World Factbook, about 30 percent of the archipelago nation’s workforce is employed in tourism.

Minister of home affairs and environment Joel Morgan has in the past defended the island’s safety, bristling at a Britain’s Independent newspaper’s description of the Seychelles as a "pirate paradise."

Prior to August, there had not been a reported shark-related fatality in the Seychelles, famous for its idyllic beaches and pristine waters, since 1963, the BBC reported.

The Seychelles grabbed headlines when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge honeymooned on the archipelago off the coast of East Africa in May.

Redmond’s death occurred on the same day ministers held a meeting to address the impact of the prior shark attack.

As the shark hunt continues, authorities temporarily banned entering the water off Anse Lazio, the beach on the Island of Praslin where the attacks occurred.