Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023


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Beach plagued by sharks locked down for a year after dad mauled to death

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After three shark attacks in two months – including one in which a 55-year-old dad was killed by a tiger shark – a popular beach is to be closed for the rest of the year.

On February 22, triathlete Chris Davis was dragged back to Château-Royal beach in New Caledonia, Australia with severe arm and leg injuries.

Despite the best efforts of lifesavers and bystanders trying to resuscitate him, a vital artery in his thigh had been severed by the shark’s bite and he died at the scene.

READ MORE: Shark kills swimmer in attack on crowded beach as witnesses 'hear his screams'

A tiger shark, believed to have been the one that attacked Mr Davis, was later caught and killed.

It was the third shark attack in the bay in recent months. A fortnight before Mr Davis’s death, a surfer had been attacked and narrowly escaped unharmed and a week before that local teacher Bridgette Do lost her leg and part of a hand after being bitten by a shark.

New Caledonia is a French territory with golden beaches that are beloved by Australian tourists.

But following the rash of shark attacks, the City Council in capital Noumea has banned swimming until December 31, 2023.

  • 20% of men would risk a shark attack because then they would have a 'cool story'

On average, the island has seen one shark attack a year since records began in 1958. In 2021, the local government removed tiger and bull sharks from its protected species list in a bid to reduce attacks.

The recent uptick in shark attacks has been blamed on food scraps being thrown into the water from a restaurant’s viewing platform.

Australians on social media are unimpressed: “Hey New Caledonia I thought I should point out that due to the stupid council decision to ban all beach swimming in Noumea, we have been forced to cancel our bookings,' one wrote on Facebook.

“We used to love heading to the Hilton Noumea La Promenade and local restaurants,” another wrote, “but that's it for us. Those bookings are cancelled and we're done. Au revoir”.

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