Hand of missing Scottish tourist found in shark's stomach

Hand of missing Scottish tourist found in shark's stomach
By: World News Posted On: November 07, 2019 View: 14

Hand of missing Scottish tourist found in shark's stomach

The hand of a Scottish tourist has been found in the stomach of a shark caught near Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean.

The man disappeared while snorkelling in Hermitage Lagoon on Saturday.

The 44-year-old's remains were identified by his wedding ring, according to a story originally published by local news channel Reunion La 1ere.

He has not been publicly named.

A man enters the water next to a sign warning on the danger of shark attacks at the L'Etang-Sale beach, on the Indian Ocean island of La Reunion on March 1, 2019
Image: There have been at least two fatal shark attacks near Reunion Island this year. File pic

The tiger shark was caught just over four miles from the lagoon, among several captured for research earlier this week.

A spokesman for local search and rescue - the Centre Regional Operationnel de Surveillance et de Sauvetage - said it is unclear whether the man drowned and was eaten by the shark, or whether he was attacked by it.

He said: "The victim was certainly swimming but it is not clear whether he was attacked or he was already dead when he was eaten.

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"One possibility is that he became unwell while in the lagoon and was taken by the currents into deeper water."

He said it might not be possible to determine the cause of death without the man's body - and the body is unlikely to be found in such shark-infested waters.

Blood tests and DNA tests would be conducted on the hand, however.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed it was supporting the family of a British man who died while snorkelling in La Reunion.

Swimming and surfing have been banned in the waters around the island since 2013, except for the shallow waters of the area's lagoons.

There have been at least two fatal shark attacks in the French territory this year - a fisherman in January and a surfer in May.

French President Emmanuel Macron is keen to see water sports re-introduced by 2022 but has said he wants to be sure they would be safe first.

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