A 50-year-old man was killed by a shark while swimming off the Pacific Ocean island of Kouare, New Caledonia, on Sunday, authorities reportedly said. The man, identified as Yves Berthelot, was snorkeling with his friends south of the archipelago when the attack took place.
Berthelot was swimming near his boat, which was anchored off the island, when he was bitten several times by a bull shark. Several people were reportedly in the water when the shark attacked the man. The shark was reportedly thought to be about 11 feet long.
“It was really a savage and sudden attack,” a military police spokesman told a local radio station, according to Agence France-Presse. “Most people on board were health workers. The first aid given was significant but the injuries were such that unfortunately there was not much that could be done.”
The Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes, a local news website, reportedly said that the victim, a call-center manager in the capital, Noumea, had hired a catamaran with a group of friends for the outing.
A helicopter was reportedly sent to the area but the man died before paramedics could reach him. The helicopter later airlifted the victim and his wife.