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Alexandre Rassica, 22, killed by shark attack Reunion Island, Indian Ocean

Updated on July 16, 2013

Yet another young life was wasted when a shark attacked 22 year old Alexandre Rassica as he was surfing off Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean.

He was about 100m (330ft) from shore at Trois-Bassins, on the west side of the island, when a shark attacked him and bit off his right leg.

Fellow surfers went to his aid and dragged him to the shore, where paramedics were quickly on the scene.

It was too late. Mr Rassica had suffered a cardiac arrest through shock and blood loss, and despite working on him for more than an hour, they were unable to save his life.

This brings the total number of deaths by shark attack on Reunion Island to nine, since 1972.

Worrying, this is the third fatality in just over a year.

Great white shark breaching surface
Great white shark breaching surface | Source

In 2011, on the 19th of September, Mathieu Schiller, aged 38, was fatally injured while bodyboarding at St Giles, Reunion.

In June, just three months previously, 31 year old Eric Auber was mauled to death by several sharks while surfing just 200m (660ft) off the coast of Ti Boucan, Reunion.

These three deaths appear to herald a big increase in shark fatalities considering there has only been 6 in the previous 38 years.

Also in 2011, 32 year Eric Dargent lost his lower leg to a shark in the February, and was lucky to escape with his life.

Where is Reunion Island?


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Reunion Island:
Reunion, Forêt de Bébour, Reunion

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Map of Réunion
Map of Réunion | Source

Reunion Island

Reunion Island is just a dot on the map, 500 miles east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. Nearby Mauritius is better known as a tourist destination, but Reunion would love to welcome visitors.

Home to up to 800,000 people, this tropical island is only 38 miles long and 28 miles wide. Situated right on top of one of planet Earth's hotspots, it is volcanic with both extinct and active volcanoes.

With heavy forestation on the mountains, it is amazing that there is room for all these people too.

To the west of the island are 17 miles of idyllic sandy beaches, with crystal clear azure waters to bathe in, and wonderful coral reefs just perfect for diving or snorkeling.

These warm coastal waters are also home to some of the most dangerous sharks on the planet.

Great white, tiger and bull sharks frequent all the waters in the Indian Ocean, and in recent years we have seen an increase in shark attacks globally, but more specifically an increase in fatal shark attacks around South Africa and Western Australia.

Just a week before the death of Alexandre Rassica, we saw Ben Linden bitten in half by a great white shark off the coast of Western Australia.

The premature and awful death of Alexandre Rassica has left another family shattered, and all here at sharkfacts send his friends and family our deepest condolences.


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