The beach where an Australian man was mauled by a shark in New Caledonia should never have been reopened after another major attack a few weeks ago, locals say.
The 59-year-old tourist was swimming near a crowded pontoon about 150 meters from shore on Chateau-Royal beach south of Nouméa around 4pm on Sunday afternoon when he was suddenly attacked.
Horrified onlookers said the shark attacked the man, biting his leg and arm multiple times.
The attack happened near a pontoon a few meters from a jetty where beachgoers had jumped.
The jetty is near a restaurant where guests and staff throw food from a “viewing deck” into the water to feed fish — which often attracts sharks.
A jet ski brought the man’s body back to shore where CPR was performed, but unfortunately the man died at the scene.
The beach had only reopened on Thursday after another shark encounter occurred on January 29, in which a 49-year-old local teacher lost her leg while swimming.
Less than a week later, a shark attacked a foil surfer, but the surfer escaped unharmed.
The 59-year-old Australian tourist was swimming near a pontoon next to a jetty on Chateau-Royal beach, south of Noumea, on Sunday afternoon, where he was attacked. A restaurant behind the jetty allows employees and customers to feed fish and sharks
Footage of the attack shows him splashing in the water before men patrolling on jet skis were able to recover the man’s body
A staffer at the Hotel Chateau Royal said he was surprised to hear the beaches have reopened after the two most recent attacks.
“It was so scary, we’re all panicking. One of my colleagues has a son who was in the sea at the time and we are all phoning and texting our families and friends to check they are okay,” they told Chron Australia.
“They really shouldn’t have reopened the beach. It only opened last week after another attack. It’s so dangerous.”
The beach can be seen just two days before the attack, with dozens of swimmers enjoying the crystal clear waters
Shocking footage captured of Sunday’s attack appears to show splashing in the water near the pontoon – just meters from other swimmers.
Chron Australia understands the man was a solo Australian tourist.
He had been staying at the nearby Le Meridien Hotel but has yet to be identified.
A hotel guest who witnessed the horror said a jet ski entered the water after shark alerts went off.
The jet ski driver then returned to shore, where another member of the beach patrol jumped on his back and together they retrieved the man’s body.
After getting the man’s body back onto the sand, the patrol team frantically performed CPR before paramedics arrived.
Emergency services patrol the water in Noumea
Patrol crew members and paramedics desperately performed CPR on the man, but he could not be saved
Tragically, the man could not be saved.
“It happened so close to shore that the poor victim was face down in the water when the jet ski came towards him,” said the guest at the nearby Hotel Chateau Royal.
“There was blood everywhere, we could see it from the beach. So many people were in the water at the same time and they had only reopened the beach a few days ago.”
Another locksmith official said “something needs to be done,” with locals on high alert after three shark attacks in the area in just three weeks.
“A lot of us had families on the beach and in the sea, so there was a lot of panic when it happened,” they said.
The beach was immediately evacuated and has since been closed as tourists were urged to stick to the hotel pools instead.
A guest at the chateau said they saw a crowd gathering around the victim after she was brought ashore.
Police are seen at the scene of the deadly shark attack in Noumea
The beach was immediately evacuated and has since been closed as tourists were urged to stick to the hotel pools instead
“At that time there were a lot of people in the water and it was very close to shore,” they said.
“Kitesurfers and windsurfers were also much further out at sea. I wondered why the beach had been so quiet earlier in the week as the water is idyllic but obviously the locals know to stay out.
“I wish someone would have told us. We also wanted to go snorkeling today.”
Authorities are now planning to kill all tiger sharks and bull sharks in the area.
They reportedly killed five sharks after the last attack on Jan. 29.
Chateau Royal’s beach has been cordoned off while police boats patrol the water.