Horrified Onlookers at Popular Beach Witness Shark Attack

Aussie tourist dies after encounter in waters off French territory of New Caledonia in South Pacific
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2023 7:54 AM CST
Tourist Fatally Attacked by Shark on South Pacific Island
Stock photo of Noumea, New Caledonia.   (Getty Images/Krittakorn Phongvijitsopha)

An Australian man's swim over the weekend in a tropical resort city ended in tragedy, causing the closure of most of the beaches in the area. The 59-year-old tourist was about 500 feet offshore on Sunday when he was attacked by a shark at the popular Chateau Royal beach in Noumea, capital of the French territory of New Caledonia in the South Pacific, reports the BBC. Two people sailing near where the man was attacked retrieved him and took him to shore, while others in the water who witnessed the attack themselves scrambled back to the beach.

Other beachgoers tended to the man until emergency responders arrived, per ABC Australia. A paramedic tells the news outlet that the victim was bitten at least three times on his arms and legs; rescuers tried to perform cardiac massage, but the man died at the scene, reports the Guardian.

Noumea's mayor shuttered most local beaches and ordered the capture of any tiger sharks and bull sharks that could be found. Drones sent up tracked down two sharks before evening. It's the third such shark attack off that particular beach in three weeks. A 49-year-old swimmer was seriously hurt by a shark at the end of last month, and a surfer was attacked a few days later, though that person wasn't injured. Authorities say an investigation is underway. (More shark attack stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.