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Pictured lovestruck on their honeymoon... then killer shark attacked

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Pictured lovestruck on their honeymoon... then killer shark attacked

Post  Gary Dee on Fri 19 Aug - 16:23

She had little more than a week as his wife before she became his widow.

And yesterday Gemma Redmond paid tribute to her husband, Ian, killed by a shark as they honeymooned in the Seychelles.

The 27-year-old primary school teacher, who during the drama refused to believe her husband was dead, spoke movingly of the man who had been her partner for nine years and husband for a mere ten days.

‘My husband and my best friend was tragically killed yesterday,’ she said. ‘I loved him so much and he was a very special husband, a thoughtful son and a devoted brother.

‘He worked tirelessly to give us both a wonderful married life and home and I want to thank him for nine years of joy. We were having so much fun and we were so excited about our future together.

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.’

The couple were on the second week of their honeymoon on the island of Praslin and were enjoying a day on the Anse Lazio beach when tragedy struck.

Moments before, the joyous new bride had been telling an islander ‘everything has been perfect’. She had been videoing her husband from the beach as he swam in relatively shallow waters 20 yards from the shore and had just settled down to sunbathe when she heard his cries for help.

She jumped up and screamed for assistance and within moments two men on a catamaran had dragged Mr Redmond on board and brought him ashore.

He had lost an arm and suffered horrendous injuries to his left leg, as well as bite marks on his torso and hips.

Holidaymakers tried desperately to save him as he lay bleeding on the beach while others kept Mrs Redmond back to spare her the horror of his injuries.

Jeanne Vargiolu, 56, the owner of Le Chevalier restaurant on the beach, said Mrs Redmond was saying she ‘still had hope’ for her husband as he lay on the beach.

‘I saw his wife talking to about five people, I think one was English, that she still had hope he was still alive,’ she said.

Yesterday pressure intensified on the Seychelles authorities to explain why the beach at Anse Lazio had not been closed after a shark killed a French holidaymaker just two weeks earlier.

The newlyweds, from Skelmersdale, Lancashire, had enjoyed lunch together on Tuesday at a restaurant before venturing out to the beach.

Richelieu Verlaque, owner of the Bonbon Plume restaurant, said Mrs Redmond had chatted with his wife Chantal moments before the tragedy.

He recalled: ‘She said: “Everything has been perfect. People had told us Seychelles was beautiful but it has been better than we could have imagined”.’

Mr Verlaque said his wife accompanied Mrs Redmond to the hospital and said she had no idea her husband was dead until the doctors came to tell her the tragic news.

He said: ‘None of us here has ever seen a shark in the bay and it was unimaginable that it could happen again. It was like something from a nightmare – people were shaking and crying. Even we Seychellois are shocked – this is a national tragedy for us.’

Last night questions were being asked about what action had been taken to protect tourists after it emerged French tourist, Nicolas Virolle, 36, had been killed by a shark swimming off the same beach only a fortnight earlier.

Yesterday authorities closed many of the beaches and snorkelling spots on Praslin, one of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean that make up the Seychelles.

‘We are very aware that this is bad news for tourism,’ said Alain St. Ange, director of Seychelles Tourism Authority.

‘But we had tourist police patrolling the beach at Anse Lazio after the first attack, warning people not to go too deep.

‘There are people fishing for this shark right now, and even our inter-island flights and helicopters are over-flying the bay to see if we can spot anything from the air.’

Before this month’s deaths, the last recorded fatal shark attack in the Seychelles was in 1963.

The authorities believe they are hunting an 8-10ft tiger, bull shark or even great white.

Fishermen, dive centres and the Seychelles Fishing Authority are all said to be laying nets and baited hooks around the island waters in a bid to catch the shark.

Mrs Redmond’s parents, David and Coleta Houghton, of Dalton, Lancashire have flown out to the island to be with their daughter.

Mr Redmond’s parents, Stephen and Corinne, and his brother, Paul, were being comforted at their home in Nelson.

At the cottage in Roby Mill, Skelmersedale that Mr Redmond was refurbishing for the couple to live in on their return, a wedding bouquet could be seen in the lounge.

Killer that inspired jaws

Investigators do not yet know what type of shark killed Ian Redmond.

Experts will be examining the bites inflicted on the British honeymooner, and earlier French victim Nicolas Virolle, for size, depth and tearing characteristics to provide clues.

Tiger sharks are found in the waters around the Seychelles, and one was blamed for the previous fatal attack there in 1963.

Other candidates are the oceanic white-tip and the great white, which is the most notorious man-eater of all.

But the likeliest killer is a bull shark that strayed off its migratory path from southern Africa to Australia.

It has a reputation for attacking in even the shallowest water, and one was believed to be responsible for the Jersey Shore attacks of 1916 in America, when four people were killed over 12 days.

The incident inspired Peter Benchley’s 1974 novel Jaws, although the species that featured in the book, and subsequent film, was the great white.

Growing up to 10ft long, the bull shark has hundreds of triangular, finely-serrated teeth, arranged in several rows.

It is capable of stripping muscle from bone or removing a limb entirely with one bite.

It derives its name from its stocky shape, its broad, flat snout and – most ominously – its aggressive, unpredictable behaviour.

Unlike most sharks, it tolerates fresh water and may travel hundreds of miles up rivers.

Most of a bull shark’s diet consists of fish and smaller sharks, but can also include dolphins, turtles, birds and terrestrial mammals. In the rivers of Queensland, Australia, they have even been known to eat horses having a bathe.

They are usually solitary hunters, and are extremely territorial.

They may be sluggish as they patrol the ocean, but they are capable of terrifying bursts of speed and, like most shark species, they have an extraordinary sense of smell to compensate for their poor vision.

They are so-called apex predators, which means they do not have to worry about being hunted by other creatures.

They are found cruising the shallow, warm waters of all the world’s oceans, but it is their fondness for shorelines and rivers that makes them so dangerous to humans.

Gary Dee
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Re: Pictured lovestruck on their honeymoon... then killer shark attacked

Post  chrissie on Fri 19 Aug - 16:32

Thank you Gary.

This is an incredibly sad story.
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Re: Pictured lovestruck on their honeymoon... then killer shark attacked

Post  Panda on Sun 21 Aug - 12:30

Thanks Gary, especially for the photo of the couple. A tragedy that nobody would have envisaged and m thoughts are with his Wife and the Families.
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