Another bodyboarder has been killed off Reunion Island. According to reports, Adrien Dubosc was bodyboarding around 11 am at Pointe au Sal in Saint-Leu on April 29th when a shark mauled his leg. He died from his injuries.
Surfing and bodyboarding are banned in the area, and the attack comes just a few months after Dubosc’s friend, 26-year-old Alexandre Naussac, died at a nearby beach where bodyboarding was also prohibited. Naussac’s death prompted more outrage from a stunned and angry surfing community, including Jeremy Flores, Kelly Slater, and Michel Bourez.
As well as being an experienced bodyboarder, Adrien Dubosc was part of an organization called Shark Watch Patrol that’s dedicated to cutting down the numbers of increasingly frequent shark attacks on Reunion. “The young man was in the water with two friends when a shark attacked him, biting his right thigh, and his groin area,” said local authorities. ‘The victim was pulled out of the water, and emergency workers arrived very quickly. Despite cardiac massage, he died within half an hour of the attack.”
The beach was crowded when the attack happened, and it’s been reported that some of Dubosc’s family witnessed it as well as the attempted resuscitation. His death is the ninth fatal shark attack in six years on Reunion.
After Naussac’s death in February, Kelly Slater weighed in with an Instagram post that quickly gained the ire of conservation advocates.
“Honestly, I won’t be popular for saying this but there needs to be a serious cull on Reunion and it should happen everyday [sic].” Slater wrote on Instagram. “There is a clear imbalance happening in the ocean there. If the whole world had these rates of attack nobody would use the ocean and literally millions of people would be dying like this. The French govt needs to figure this out asap. 20 attacks since 2011!?”
In an email to Sea Shepherd Captain Paul Watson soon afterward, Slater recanted his thoughts. “I would like to address my comment about the recent bull shark attack in Reunion Island,” he wrote. “I did not think my words through. It is easy to get emotional given the recent history with sharks that the local community has suffered, especially when young lives are lost. However, killing anything in hopes of a solution is not in line with my philosophies about life and I don’t believe are a long term fix to an ongoing problem. This is a good time to put energy and intelligence into finding a solution that works for everyone…utilizing technology, science, and human emotion. I know a solution can be found that works for all parties. I’ll continue to learn about and put energy towards efforts to defend and protect our oceans.”
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Adrien Dubosc.