This is a translation from the French, from a witness – Dominique Pothin – to the shark attack in Seychelles reported on SharkAttackMonitor.
The original French version is published on clicanoo.re
UPDATE (8 August 2011)
Belo, who lives on the beach where the attack took place – wrote to SharkAttackMonitor. She said the French man was 35 years old. She sat with him when he was brought ashore. And that he died from a severe bite wound on his left leg. She said nothing like this has happened on this beach in the past 40 years.
This is the account of Dominique Pothin.
First, I would like to express my sincere condolences to the family of the French tourist who died from a shark attack in Praslin (Seychelles, Anse Lazio) August 1, 2011.
Let me emphasize that:
- This is not due to an accident caused by a boat propeller
- The tourist was not diving. He was about 40 or 50 m from the shore, maybe he had a mask and snorkel. We think not. He was swimming simply as would a woman, a child, my wife or myself or a baby with his parents.
(Il nageait tout simplement comme l’aurait fait une femme, un enfant, ma femme ou moi-même voire un bébé avec ses parents.)
- The ambulance took nearly 40 minutes to arrive at the scene. There was no aid station nearby, no stretcher.
Just two Seychellois in a boat were very brave (they deserve national recognition) and some people, in particular a woman who tried to help. The bite was so bad that there was probably nothing that could be done to save him.
Here is my testimony:
We were on the beach, before the “Bonbon Plume” renowned restaurant on the corner. There were dozens of tourists on the beach. Around 3:30 p.m. It had been beautiful since the morning. If there had been a flag, it would have been green. Shortly before the attack, we were in the water within 20 m from where the attack on the tourist took place. The sea was beautiful, clear water, pleasant. There were several catamarans anchored in the cove and even a kind of cruise ship and some boats.
The man was swimming in front of us, about 50 metres from the beach. He was not [spear] fishing underwater. There was no boat nearby. He therefore did not suffer, as I read in the press, a collision with a propeller. It seems to me that he had no mask or snorkel – in any case, certainly not flippers.
He was swimming a little further away from other swimmers but not very far from the shore. At one point he started screaming and even had some sort of nervous laughter bordering on hysteria. We thought he was an idiot.
He ended up calling “for help” and he clearly said “shark”. Then for a very short time we did not see him. He was taken to the bottom. The water become all red around him. He then reappeared. Two Seychellois in a fishing boat came to his rescue. The poor man barely had the strength to lift an arm. The two Seychellois, who showed exemplary courage, managed to get to him and bring him back to the beach. My wife, like many others, went to see the boat. The victim had almost no belly. I went to the restaurant and asked to call for help. Someone else had already called an ambulance. The victim remained in this boat more than half an hour – both legs and feet dangling over the side. That’s how I saw he had no fins. We were looking for a doctor. A lady, who could have been a doctor, finally got into the boat and she had an umbrella to protect the poor man from the sun. This gesture seemed ridiculous, but at the same time full of humanity.
This is presumably Belo – who commented on the original SharkAttackMonitor report:
In response to the tragic shark incident in Seychelles, if only to ease the loved ones left behind, i held the man’s hand and stayed with him until the ambulance came. May he rest in peace.
A tourist at the back of the boat said there was nothing left to do. The swimmer was dead. There was evidently no one in the water. People were standing on the beach, staring. Some cried, others were prostrate. I thought about my son, the fragility of things. We came straight back to the hotel. The taxi driver who brought us had also witnessed this terrible scene.
He had never heard of such an attack, much less at Praslin’s Anse Lazio. He told us that the shark was there because the boats anchored in the cove were dumping their waste overboard.
– Dominique Pothin