Shark tears off teenager’s limbs

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 12 April 2015 | 23.08

Fatal attack ... Elio Canestri was surfing in an area prohibited for swimming when a shark attacked and killed him. Picture: Facebook/Elio Canestri Source: Supplied

A 13-YEAR-OLD boy was attacked and killed by a shark Sunday off the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion, authorities said, the seventh such deadly attack since 2011.

The shark tore off the boy's limbs and part of his stomach as he was surfing early Sunday morning in an off-limits section of sea off the west coast of the island.

Elio Canestri was attacked while surfing with seven others, the Mirror reports. He was around 15 metres offshore.

'One of our best' ... promising young surfer, Elio Canestri, in action. Picture: Facebook/Elio Canestri Source: Supplied

A spokesman for the rescue services told the Mirror: "A boat was launched very quickly, and the victim was dragged out of the sea, but he died from his wounds.

"Those who witnessed the attack, including other children, are being treated for trauma."

It was the 16th shark attack on the island since 2011 and the seventh loss of life.

Reunion island authorities are said to be scrambling to find solutions to protect swimmers.

In July 2012, a surfer died after a shark ripped off his leg and, in July 2013, a teenage girl was bitten in half as she swam metres from shore. In February a 20-year-old female swimmer was bitten by a shark before dying in hospital from a cardiac arrest.

Died from his wounds ... a shark tore off Elio Canestri's limbs and part of his stomach. Picture: Facebook/Elio Canestri Source: Supplied

La Reunion local Jeremy Flores, who won the Billabong Pipeline Masters in Hawaii in 2010, paid tribute to Canestri on his Instagram account: "ANOTHER shark attack in Reunion island this morning. 13 years old Elio was one of our best up and coming surfer. Words can't describe how sad and angry i am. So young !!! Heart breaking News. RIP :("

Authorities immediately put in place a "post-attack procedure" in a bid to capture the shark.

Specialised boats were deployed for "targeted fishing in the immediate area around the attack," the local authorities said in a statement.

In February, island authorities extended until February 2016 a law prohibiting swimming and other water-based activities such as surfing and windsurfing except in special areas.

This measure has resulted in a dramatic decline in tourism on the island lying to the east of Madagascar.

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