Gemma Redmond has spoken out about her sadness and her anger at authorities for the first time since her husband Ian was killed in a shark attack during their Seychelles honeymoon.
In an interview with the BBC, Mrs. Redmond, 27, commented on the brewing controversy over why the island's authorities had not closed the beaches following another fatal shark attack days earlier.
She told the BBC:
Ian had laughed at me when we were on Denis Island, I overheard a man teasing his wife saying there's sharks and things, and I asked the lady on reception and she said 'No, not in the Seychelles, the Seychelles are very safe waters, Mrs. Redmond said.
One of the reasons that we picked to come to the Seychelles was the beautiful waters, the fact that it's like an underwater aquarium and there's not really any dangerous animals. I've heard of stone fish and you have to be aware of currents when you're snorkeling but we didn't really think that sharks would be in the Seychelles at all. It wasn't something we were aware of, she added.
Prior to this month's deaths, the last recorded fatal shark attack in the Seychelles was in 1963.
Gemma and Ian Redmond married on Aug 6 and were entering the second week of their honeymoon when Ian was killed by a shark while snorkeling about 30 feet off of Anse Lazio beach on the island of Preslin, the second largest island in the Seychelles.
As Mr. Redmond was attacked in the water, Mrs. Redmond was sunbathing on the beach.
Mr. Redmond actually survived the attack and, according to police spokesman Jean Toussaint, two men on a catamaran assisted him just after 5:00 p.m. local time. He had reportedly lost an arm and suffered severe hip injuries.
We discovered that the British citizen was badly injured on the hips and the arms. He was assisted medically but unfortunately he could not make it. We haven't got the autopsy report yet, but he definitely lost a lot of blood. Toussaint said.
One onlooker told the Daily Mirror that Mrs. Redmond was saying she still had hope for her husband while he lay on the sand with horrific injuries after the attack.
Ironically, the attack fell on the day the island's government held an emergency meeting to discuss the previous shark attack that killed a French diver on August 2.
The 36-year-old French tourist was killed in the waters off the same beach raising questions as to why the beach remained opened.
Other tourists have claimed that the government of the Seychelles played down the death of the Frenchman on Aug 1 to protect the all-important tourist industry. The incident was barely mentioned by the state-controlled media.
Authorities are now working to find the creature.
We need to find the beast and get it out of our waters, we have requested help from South Africa and two experts are arriving in the country in the next day, Seychelles Tourism Board director Alain St Ange told the BBC.
We have now closed the beach and all the surrounding beaches, and stopped diving in the area, he added.
In an emotional tribute, Mrs. Redmond said:
Myself, our families and our friends are devastated and shocked by what has happened. The loss of Ian has left a gaping hole in our hearts that will never be filled.
He was always calm and collected, strong and brave, witty and intelligent, handsome and caring, a remarkable individual who will be deeply and sorely missed. We are privileged and proud to have shared our lives with him.
Mrs Redmond, is preparing to fly his body home once a post mortem examination has been completed.