Aussie tourist is killed by a shark in New Caledonia just steps from crowded pontoon with horrified witnesses watching the animal attack him several times
- The man was swimming at Chateau-Royal beach
- Witnesses said the shark attacked him several times
- The 59-year-old died on shore from his injuries
An Australian man has tragically died after being mauled by a shark while holidaying in New Caledonia.
The 59-year-old tourist was swimming near a crowded pontoon about 150 metres from shore at the Chateau-Royal beach, south of Nouméa, on Sunday.
Horrified onlookers said the shark attacked the man, biting him several times on his leg and arms.
Two people sailing their boat nearby pulled the man from the water and rushed him to shore where emergency services worked to save him.
However, despite the attempts of several paramedics, the man died from his severe injuries.
A 59-year-old Australian man has tragically died after being attacked by a shark while holidaying in New Caledonia
The man was swimming near a crowded pontoon 150 metres from shore at the Chateau-Royal beach (pictured), south of Nouméa, when he was attacked
Major of Nouméa Sonia Lagarde closed most beaches in the area following the attack and ordered the capture of tiger sharks and bull sharks spotted in nearby waters.
Authorities used drones to search for the predator and spotted two sharks before the operation was called off at nightfall.
Local prosecutor Yves Dupas said an investigation would help identify the circumstances around the attack, which happened inside the zone watched over by lifeguards.
It comes after two swimmers were attacked by sharks at nearby beaches last month.
A 49-year-old swimmer was seriously injured by a shark at the same beach on January 29. Five days later, a foil surfer was charged by a shark but escaped without injury.
New Caledonia lies south of Vanuatu and 1,200km east of Australia. The French Pacific territory is known for its palm-lined beaches, beautiful reefs and rich marine life.
The Florida Museum’s International Shark Attack File ranks New Caledonia 13th in the world for the total number of shark attacks since 1958.