Swimmer dies in New Caledonia shark attack

By: AFP      Published: 02:19 PM, 28 Feb, 2021
Swimmer dies in New Caledonia shark attack

A 57-year-old man has died after a shark attack off an island in New Caledonia on Sunday, officials said.

The amateur yachtsman was swimming near his moored boat off Maitre islet in the French Pacific territory when the incident happened, according to an initial inquiry.

"According to witnesses the man was bitten on the leg by a four-metre-long shark" and died before the arrival of a rescue helicopter, a civil official told AFP.

The man is believed to have died from a heart attack after the incident, according to the newspaper Les Nouvelles-Caledoniennes.

Maitre, a roughly 20 minute trip from the main island, is popular with tourists and was busy the weekend of the attack.

The incident took place only metres from a beach, which was evacuated by firefighters shortly afterwards.

Authorities also banned swimming and other water-based activities along the islet's coastline until Monday.

Other beaches will not be closed, but authorities have called on swimmers to be especially vigilant.

In 2019 a fisherman was killed by a bull shark in New Caledonia, days after a boy had his leg bitten off in another shark attack.


Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.