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Kitesurfer has heel torn off in shark attack off Pacific tourist island

The kitesurfer said he thought he was going to die.

Image: Shutterstock/Sergey Uryadnikov

A SHARK ATTACKED a kitesurfer sailing his board off the Pacific Ocean archipelago of New Caledonia, tearing off part of his heel.

Pierre de Rotalier told Les Nouvelles-Caledoniennes newspaper that he was sailing along the coast towards Noumea yesterday when the shark struck.

“It was when I was gybing (turning) that the shark attacked me from behind. I was hit hard,” he said.

De Rotalier said he thought he was going to die when he saw the shark rush towards him. The animal bit the board and tore off part of his heel.

He swam towards the shore and was picked up by a boat.

In February, a kitesurfer was severely bitten on the thigh by a shark in the same area.

cal New Caledonia and the eastern coast of Australia. Source: Google Maps

In April, a 69-year-old woman was killed in a tiger shark attack at Poe, 160 kilometres northwest of Noumea, capital of the French overseas territory.

The sun-drenched archipelago, which boasts the world’s largest enclosed lagoon with magnificent coral, is a popular tourist destination.

© – AFP, 2016

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