13-Year-Old’s Death Is Latest Tragedy For Island Surrounded By Shark-Infested Waters

On the morning of April 12, before 13-year-old Elio Canestri was killed by a shark while surfing at a beach in his native Reunion Island, he left a note for his mother.

“Don’t worry,” the young surfing champion wrote, according to NBC News. “I’m going surfing. If there’s no security, I won’t surf.”

Canestri was referring to shark “spotters,” or officials who are tasked with monitoring sharks from the shore while others are out in the water.

The teen and his friends were reportedly surfing in an unmonitored area, where surfing was restricted, during the fatal attack.

Canestri’s death was the 16th in a series of shark attacks — seven of which were fatal — that have plagued the French island since 2011.

“Another shark attack in Reunion island this morning,” professional surfer and Reunion Island native Jeremy Flores wrote on his Instagram after Canestri’s death. “Words can’t describe how sad and angry I am.”

Attacking The Shark Problem

Officials are debating how to handle Reunion Island’s persistent shark problem. According to surf news website The Inertia, some island locals believe that the spike in shark attacks are related to a marine reserve —> Read More