Kitesurfer Killed After Shark Attack In New Caledonia Lagoon
A man has died after a large shark attacked him as he was kitesurfing in the South Pacific, authorities have said.
The 50-year-old man had fallen from his board on Tuesday in a lagoon near the town of Koumac, New Caledonia, when the shark bit into his right thigh.
Nicolas Renaud, director of the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre, said the victim was from Perth, Western Australia.
He had arrived on Sunday for a holiday that was due to last 10 days and had booked a cruise on a sailing boat so he could do some kitesurfing.
He said: “The crew on the sailing yacht, they saw the attack. They tried to save him, to give him a heart massage, but it was too late.”
The crew dragged the man back on board the yacht while rescuers sent a medical team.
The victim was taken back to the port at Koumac, Mr Renaud said.
He said it was the fourth shark attack in New Caledonia this year.
An elderly woman was killed and two others injured in the previous attacks.
The victim was near the reef that encloses the lagoon and far from the shore when the attack took place.
Mr Renaud said: “We can’t stop sharks entering the lagoon. He was just in a bad place at a bad time.”
The crew of the boat were unable to identify the species of shark, but said it was very large.
Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was providing consular assistance to the man’s family.