Shark attack kills surfer in Reunion Island

A 13-year-old boy has become the seventh Reunion shark fatality since 2011.
Promising 13-year-old Reunion Island surfer Elio Canestri was killed at Les Aigrettes yesterday after a shark attacked his limbs and stomach. It was the sixteenth attack on the French island (east of Madagascar) since 2011 and the seventh fatality.

While a total surfing ban had been in place – a government response to the alarming number of attacks – authorities had intended to trial new measures aimed at getting surfers back into the water this year (speargun-equipped divers protecting surf training sessions for the country’s elite surfers, for example).

Elio had reportedly been surfing in a coaching session for elite young surfers – chosen as having potential to become French champions – when he was attacked. It’s unclear whether the aforementioned protective measures had been implemented for this session.

Our thoughts and condolences to Elio’s family and friends.