About Careers MedBlog Contact us

Surfing Paradise In France Takes A Hit After A Shark Attack Kills A Teenager

by Bidita Debnath on April 19, 2015 at 10:47 PM
Font : A-A+

Surfing Paradise In France Takes A Hit After A Shark Attack Kills A Teenager

Reunion, France, once a haven for surfers from around the world, has become a deadly black spot for the sport now plunged into even deeper mourning after a shark mauled Elio Canestri to death.

The 13-year-old, one of the Indian Ocean island's most promising young surfers, was killed after he ignored an official ban and hit the waves with friends.


Canestri left a note for his mother saying "don't worry". But he was dragged off his surfboard by a 2.5 meter (eight feet) long bull shark and dragged out to sea. The boy was the seventh fatal victim of shark attacks around Reunion since 2011. Nine others have miraculously survived surfing or swimming near internationally known beaches such as St Leu and La Pointe au Sel.

On Wednesday, three days after the killing, Canestri's father Giovanni joined 1,000 others at a memorial for his son on the beach. "I have two children left and I want them to stay alive and I want all of you here to stay alive," he said as he pleaded with Reunion's youngsters to stay out of the sea.

Two hundred of the mourners went to the government office and tipped red paint on the road to protest against the lack of official action against the sharks. "Words can't describe how sad and angry I am," commented Reunion's best known surfer Jeremy Flores on his instagram account.

Canestri was the second shark death this year. A 22-year-old woman was killed as she swam in the sea in February. Most of Reunion's surfers have already decided not to take any more risks however.

The number of licensed surfers in Reunion has fallen from 1,600 to 400 when bodyboard champion Mathieu Schiller was killed in 2011.

Some have remained registered in Reunion but do not go into the sea there, said Christophe Mulquin, coach to the French youth and junior surfing teams. Reunion has for years provided the core of French teams.

Hugo Savalli, France's surfing champion in 2012, said he stopped going into the sea off Reunion after the death of his friend Schiller. "Last year I went into the water twice, but only up to two meters and I was like a little child," he said.

Janique Hoarau, a silver medalist in the European bodyboard championships, said she left Reunion in 2013 "with three suitcases and no work" because she was scared for her children who were in the same surf club as Elio Canestri.

Now the Hoarau family live on France's west coast. The number of surf schools in Reunion has fallen from 14 to one.

Since 2013 when another leading local surfer Fabien Bujon had his hand and right foot torn off by a shark, the authorities have banned swimming and water sports outside of monitored areas.

Reunion now pays for its best surfers to go train far from the island. "Last year, I only saw my son for four months," said Marc Bernard, whose 15-year-old son Lucas is another leading youth hope. The teenager spends most of his time between South Africa and France.

The Reunion authorities had planned to open up safe surfing zones with extra lifeguards, observer boats and cameras. But the death of Elio Canestri has halted such ideas. Since the tragedy, no date has been spoken of and many surfers say it will be difficult to get back to the paradise surfing they enjoyed before 2011.

Source: AFP


Recommended Reading

Latest Lifestyle News

Regular Exercise: A Key to Healthy Life
Study elucidates at the cellular level how regular exercise preserves physical fitness during aging.
Lose Weight for Your Heart's Sake
Is losing weight good for your heart? Yes,following an intensive behavioral weight loss program and making healthy lifestyle changes can help you lose weight and boost heart health
Prejuvenation can Help You Say Goodbye to Aging Skin
Prejuvenation could be the new skincare trend for anti-aging. Let's stay prejuvenated to stay young forever.
Walk a Mile to Get Rid of Blood Clots
Want to prevent blood clots? Then, start walking a mile for just 15 minutes every day to keep Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT) at bay.
 Choosing The Right Shoe Can Keep You Healthy
An expert emphasizes the importance of choosing the right footwear for a healthy life and shares insights on selecting the right shoes for optimal overall well-being.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close

Surfing Paradise In France Takes A Hit After A Shark Attack Kills A Teenager Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests