Shark attack kills surfer off France’s Reunion

People gather after a man died while surfing off Saint-Leu, Reunion Island, following after a shark attack. (AFP)
Updated 09 May 2019

Shark attack kills surfer off France’s Reunion

  • The surfer, a man aged 28, lost a leg in the attack and was pronounced dead on being brought back to the port of Saint-Leu
  • It is the 24th shark attack recorded since 2011 on the island, which is French territory, and the 11th one to result in a fatality

SAINT-DENIS DE LA REUNION: An attack by a shark has killed a surfer off France’s Indian Ocean island of Reunion, the latest fatality in increasingly dangerous waters, emergency services said on Thursday.
The surfer, a man aged 28, lost a leg in the attack and was pronounced dead on being brought back to the port of Saint-Leu in the west of the island, emergency services told AFP.
The “surfer was accompanied by three friends who tried to take him back to land but did not manage,” said Olivier Tainturier, a senior local official in the nearby town of Saint-Paul.
A sharp increase in shark attacks on Reunion since 2011 has been dubbed locally the “shark crisis” and prompted authorities to step up alert systems.
It is the 24th shark attack recorded since 2011 on the island, which is French territory, and the 11th one to result in a fatality. As after previous attacks, operations have started to catch sharks in the waters of the incident.
Before the latest attack, the local authorities had urged the “greatest vigilance” among beach users as more people flock to the coast at a season when there are high numbers of the highly aggressive bull shark.


Philippines warns of ‘unfriendly’ greeting for uninvited warships

Updated 20 August 2019

Philippines warns of ‘unfriendly’ greeting for uninvited warships

  • There have been multiple sightings of Chinese warships in Philippine territorial waters
  • The Philippines has lodged several diplomatic protests in recent weeks

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has warned of “unfriendly” treatment for foreign ships traveling in the country’s territorial waters without permission, in a rare swipe at China’s use of warships just a few miles off Manila’s coast.
Duterte’s spokesman, Salvador Panelo, on Tuesday made the demand for transparency amid frustration by the Philippine military at multiple sightings this year of Chinese warships moving within the country’s 12 mile territorial sea, at various locations in the archipelago.
“All foreign vessels passing our territorial waters must notify and get clearance from the proper government authority well in advance of the actual passage,” Panelo said.
“Either we get a compliance in a friendly manner or we enforce it in an unfriendly manner,” he added.
Panelo did not refer to China by name, nor elaborate on what that enforcement might entail.
The Philippines has lodged several diplomatic protests in recent weeks over the activities of Chinese coast guard, navy and paramilitary fishing vessels in Philippine-controlled areas of the South China Sea and in its territorial waters.
The armed forces has released images and cited witness sightings between February and early August of Chinese warships off Palawan and Tawi Tawi islands, a pattern that Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana last week described as an “irritant.”
Duterte is facing heat at home for what critics say is his passive approach to Chinese provocations in exchange for a business relationship with Beijing that is not working out well for him, with promised investments slow in coming.
Though surveys consistently show Duterte enjoying a level of domestic approval never seen at this point in a presidency, the same polls show growing disdain for China over its conduct in the South China Sea, and reservations among some Filipinos over a massive influx of Chinese online gaming workers under Duterte.
Duterte will visit China from Aug. 28 to Sept. 2, his spokesman said. He has promised to discuss a South China Sea 2016 international arbitration victory over China with counterpart Xi Jinping.
Duterte has until now chosen not to push that ruling, which invalidated China’s claim of sovereignty over most of the South China Sea. Beijing did not participate in the court proceedings and rejected the ruling.
The South China Sea is a vital route for ships carrying more than $3 trillion in trade every year. The Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan and Brunei also have overlapping claims to parts of it.