One minute of silence was observed on Brisants beach in Saint-Gilles in honour of Stéphane Berhamel, who lost his life after a shark fatally bit him in the arm and thigh on Wednesday.
Berhamel had been surfing not far from the popular Brisants beach, when a shark charged at him twice. A nearby swimmer notified lifeguards after blood was noticed in the water.
Rescuers tried to revive Berhamel, who had gone into cardiac and respiratory arrest from the attack, but were unable to save him.
Berhamel’s wife was on the beach when the attack took place and was being treated for shock, according to authorities.
According to a fellow surfer, Berhamel was warned in the water to stay away from certain areas, but ignored advice.
Robert Boulanger, the President of Reunion’s surfer’s league, told the AFP News Agency that surfers had been alerted on Wednesday to the threat of sharks.
“But perhaps there wasn’t enough information for the general public and tourists,” said Boulanger. “We will work on this.”
The couple, from Morteau in the east of France, were on their honeymoon at the time of the attack. Berhamel also leaves behind an 18 month-old child.
This is the first deadly shark attack of the year on Reunion Island. Three people have been killed by sharks there in the last two years.