A 26 year old bodyboarder known as Crapaud has died as a result of wounds sustained in a shark attack at the rivermouth break of Santana in the east the island.
A body was recovered from the sea at 9.30am local time today (Tuesday) by emergency services.
Reunion 1ere reports that a group of surfers have been frequenting the spot for the last few days, despite warnings from local fishermen that sharks had been seen patrolling waters near the break.
Kelly Slater has since responded to the tragedy by calling for a cull of sharks in Reunion, something the local surfing community has been urging for some time.
Reunion native Jeremy Flores, who has campaigned for better protection against attacks for water users, including advocating a cull, said via Facebook, ‘Another young passionate kid gone too soon, very sad… Make sure you score some perfect barrels up there with all the legends.’
The attack is the 20th recorded on the French overseas department of Reunion Island since 2011, 6 of which have been fatal.
The recent spate of attacks has been attributed by most local surfers to the establishment of a marine preserve nearshore on the SW of the island and a marked increase in bull sharks as a result.
Photo credit: Reunion 1ere