Wednesday 21 September 2011

A top surfer has been killed after a quick and brutal shark attack on the French-owned island of Reunion.


Surfing generic - 0

Mathieu Schiller, 32, was dragged off his surfboard on Boucan Canot beach in the Indian Ocean by a man-eating tiger shark and quickly killed in an attack that lasted less than 30 seconds.

Schiller, who was a European team body boarding champion in 1995, was one of a large group surfing in the area when the attack happened.

Fellow surfers searched for the Frenchman's body but police later said it had been carried away by the waves.

"There were around 20 people in shallow water and about five surfers out deeper when it happened," a witness told a local news agency.

"We saw the shark’s nose emerge and then the man just vanished. It was very sudden, then the animal just swam off.

"Some of those nearby tried to reach him but his body was dragged away by the current."

Schiller is the second person to be killed by a shark on the island this year while three further people have been injured - including one man who had his leg bitten off.

Briton Ian Redmond, 32, was also killed by a shark while on his honeymoon in the Seychelles last month.