PARIS (TheBlaze/AP) — Authorities on the island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean say a teenage girl was killed by a shark as she snorkeled just a few yards from the shore.
While the French island has seen occasional attacks on surfers farther out from shore, attacks on swimmers close to shore are exceedingly rare.
The regional administration for Reunion said Tuesday that the attack occurred Monday in a cove with no lifeguard at Saint-Paul, on the northwest side of the island. Reunion is east of Madagascar off the East African coast.
AFP reported Gina Hoarau, the head of public safety in Saint-Paul, saying the body of the 15-year-old was “carried away by the shark,” but crews are conducting a search.
“The conditions of this attack are very surprising. We didn’t think a shark could come so close to the shore,” Hoarau said.
Watch AFP’s report:
In a statement, the administration said the girl lived on the French mainland but was vacationing on Reunion. She was swimming with another girl who was not harmed.
St. Paul Mayor Huguette Bello was reported by the French website Linfo (via Google Translate) as sending her condolences to the parents of the teen but also expressing that swimming is prohibited in the bay where the incident happened and calling on all islanders to be cautious.