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Dublin: 8°C Wednesday 26 January 2022

Island at centre of MH370 find is hounded by sharks

At least 18 people have been attacked and seven have been killed since 2011.

RÉUNION ISLAND WAS thrust into the spotlight recently after a piece of wreckage found there turned out to be from doomed flight MH370.

The plane disappeared in March 2014 with 239 people on board.

Shutterstock-166336202 Source: Shutterstock

Réunion, a French island in the Indian Ocean, is famous for surfing, but has been left shaken after a series of shark attacks.

A 13-year-old boy, Elio Canestri, was killed when surfing off the island in April. Witnesses say he was flung around the water as the shark tore off his limbs and part of his stomach.

SURFER Elio Canestri Source: Instagram

Professional surfer Jeremy Flores, who grew up on the island, led tributes to the teenager.

In an Instagram post, he said: “Words can’t describe how sad and angry I am. So young. Heartbreaking news.”

The New York Times has travelled to the island to look into the impact of the shark attacks.

reunion Réunion Island Source: PA

At least 18 people have been attacked and seven have been killed since 2011. The government responded in 2013 with a controversial ban on nearly all surfing and swimming.

Mick Asprey (67) moved to Réunion from Australia in the 1970s. He runs a surf shop on the island.

Shutterstock-114168823 Source: Shutterstock

He told the New York Times people were starting to return to the water before Canestri’s death, but that and another attack in which a surfer had an arm bitten off in July has meant the water is largely empty again.

- with reporting from AFP

Read: Hundreds pay tribute to 13-year-old surfing champion killed by shark

Read: Island ‘on alert’ as more plane wreckage washes up

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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