Shark Attack Kills Australian Tourist in New Caledonia, Beaches Near Noumea Closed
A shark attack led to the death of an Australian tourist off the waters of New Caledonia on Sunday, February 19, sparking renewed fears of shark encounters in the country.
The unidentified shark mauled the victim several times near a crowded beach in the capital city of Noumea.
As a result, beaches near the capital were closed to avoid further casualties from shark attacks following the incident.
New Caledonia is an island nation and a French territory in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, located 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) east of Australia.
Last weekend’s shark attack is the latest incident involving sharks in the country.
In previous years, fatal shark attacks have been reported in New Caledonia, which is surrounded by shark-infested waters.
New Caledonia Shark Attack
(Photo : Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)
The Australia national was swimming near a pontoon off the waters of Chateau-Royal Beach when the shark came out of nowhere and attacked him around 4:00 p.m. local time on Sunday, according to an account of CNN from local broadcaster New Caledonia 1, The Washington Times reported.
The 59-year-old tourist succumbed to his injuries despite being rescued by a jet ski and undergoing CPR by emergency responders.
Two people sailing near the attack site took the man back to the beach.
Local authorities said the man was swimming at a distance of 500 feet (150 meters) from the shore of the popular beach in Noumea, as cited by the BBC.
With this, beaches near the French capital territory were closed until further notice due to the attack.
Also Read: Great White Shark Makes Mexican Diver Its Buffet, Making It The First Fatal Shark Attack of 2023
Growing Shark Threat
This is the third attack near the Chateau-Royal beach in a span of three weeks, the BBC said.
While shark attacks are rare in New Caledonia, they do occur. In January 2023, a woman sustained multiple injuries after she was attacked by a bull shark in the same area where the Australian tourist died.
January’s attack led beaches in the area to be closed until last February 16.
Prior to the attack on February 19, local media reported that the most recent fatal shark attack in New Caledonia occurred in February 2021, when a tiger shark killed a yachtsman, The Washington Times added.
Since 1580, there have been 19 unprovoked shark attacks in the island chain territory of New Caledonia, according to the International Shark Attack File of the Florida Museum.
According to New Caledonia’s travel guide website Nouvelle Caledonie, a recent study conducted by HAL-IRD from 1958 to 2020 showed 67 cases of shark attacks, including 13 fatal cases, in New Caledonia.
The data showed that attacks have affected 58.5% spearfishermen, 18.5% swimmers, and 14% practitioner of water sports.
The site shows that the most types of shark species seen in New Caledonia waters during snorkelling or scuba diving activities are:
- Blacktip reef sharks
- Whitetip reef sharks
- lemon sharks
- whitespotted bullhead shark
- grey reef sharks
There are also cases that great white sharks, hammerhead sharks, mako sharks, and tiger sharks make their presence into the country’s lagoon.
Related Article: Shark Attack in the Florida Keys Leaves 10-Year-Old Boy to Lose a Part of His Leg
© 2023 NatureWorldNews.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.