Shark kills surfer off France's Reunion island

SAINT-DENIS EN REUNION, France Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:25am EDT

SAINT-DENIS EN REUNION, France (Reuters) - A shark mauled a surfer to death on Monday in an attack off the coast of France's Indian Ocean island of Reunion, emergency services said.

The 21-year-old surfer, a resident of Reunion, died after the shark bit through his leg some 100 m (330 feet) from shore at one of the island's most popular surfing spots.

Fellow surfers hauled the victim to the beach and emergency services unsuccessfully tried to revive him for more than hour, according to witnesses speaking on local radio station Freedom.

Two other fatal shark attacks off the island killed surfers in June and September of 2011, prompting local authorities to step up monitoring.

Monday's attack occurred an hour after monitoring at the beach in question had ended, officials said.

Shark attacks have been on the rise in the Indian Ocean, especially in Australia. Surfers are frequently the victims. (Reporting by Bernard Grollier; Writing by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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