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Reunion Island Tourism Board expresses condolences to shark victim's family and urges tourists to observe no swimming signs

Reunion Island Tourism Board expresses condolences to shark victim's family and urges tourists to observe no swimming signs ( REUNION ISLAND, July 16, 2013 (FIR): Reunion Island, a UNESCO-designated protected natural site in the Indian Ocean, studded with unspoiled white sand beaches and a volcano, is the focus of world media attention when a teenage tourist was killed yesterday by a shark close to shore on a non-swimming beach.

Pascal Viroleau, Director of the Reunion Island Tourism Board commented: “All of my colleagues join me in sending our deepest, heartfelt sympathies to the family of the young French victim. It is a terrible shock to everyone. We welcome all of our guests to enjoy our island in safety and peace. Yesterday's tragedy is the very first time a swimmer has fallen victim to a shark in our waters. It is hard to believe this has happened, so we must take extra steps to ensure visitors are aware of water safety precautions we have in place on Reunion Island, which are there to protect both residents and guests alike."

The unprecedented attack occurred in Saint-Paul Bay on the western side of Reunion Island. Saint-Paul Bay is not a swimming beach. While shark attacks are extremely rare, with around 100 attacks reported per year globally, precautions such as posted signs warning against entering waters are often overlooked in many parts of the world.

With more than twenty-five kilometers of pristine swimming beaches, visitors to the island are urged to observe the local rules about non-swimming areas. Viroleau noted: “We do share our spectacular location with a range of wildlife, including dolphins, turtles, and at this time of year, Humpback Whales who migrate to our waters from Antarctica. We are deeply sorrowful about this terrible tragedy, yet look forward to welcoming visitors to our beautiful island with a reminder to observe our local safety guidelines."

For more information on Reunion Island, visit

Reunion Island Tourism Board:
Liliana ROSSI
Communication Director
Tel: +262-2 62 90 83 67
Email :

Bloody Good Stuff, Los Angeles, USA
Mel Webster : +1.310.382.0982

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