Shark attack kills British groom on honeymoon in Seychelles


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The Independent Online

A British honeymooner was killed in a shark attack in the Seychelles yesterday as his new bride looked on.

The 30-year-old, named locally as Ian Redmond, was swimming off Anse Lazio beach, on the island of Praslin, when he was attacked by a 6ft shark at about 4.30pm.

His 27-year-old bride, Gemma Houghton, was sunbathing on shore 25 yards away when the attack happened.

One American tourist told a newspaper: "We heard screaming and people started running down the beach towards the water.

"Someone had seen a fin sticking out of the water, and then we saw a dinghy pulling a man from the water.

"I saw the swimmer, who was missing a huge chunk of flesh from his left leg, so much so that I could see the bone of his thigh. He was sickeningly pale, but still had his flippers on both feet.

"At this point, a woman ran over and started screaming. She said, 'That's my husband. We were just married.'

"Someone grabbed her and tried to keep her away. People all over the beach were just hugging whoever was close to them or trying to keep any children from witnessing what was going on."

It was the second fatal shark attack on the beach in just over a fortnight after the death of a 36-year-old French visitor on 1 August.

The most common shark species around the islands is the whale shark, which feeds only on plankton and microscopic plants.

Alain St Ange, Seychelles director for tourism, said a "rogue shark" was responsible for the attacks.

He said: "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."

At an emergency meeting last night, the Seychelles' Interior minister, Joel Morgan, ordered the closure of surrounding beaches and banned swimming in waters near the scene of the attacks.

The British High Commissioner Matthew Forbes flew to the island to comfort the widowed bride last night.

Her parents are understood to be on the way to the Seychelles.

The couple, who arrived in the Seychelles on Sunday, had been due to leave Praslin on Friday to spend the weekend on the main island of Mahé before flying back to Britain.