A French tourist was seriously injured after being attacked by a shark while swimming in Seychelles, a popular tourist destination in Africa, the French ambassador said Monday. The attack on the 45-year-old woman took place Sunday night off the island of Praslin, the second-largest in the picturesque archipelago famed for its pristine beaches.
The victim was injured in one arm and was transported to a hospital. “She underwent an operation last night and her life is not in danger,” Ambassador Dominique Mas told news agency AFP. The attack comes during the high tourist season for Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands located off the coast of East Africa in the Indian Ocean. Such incidents are rare in Seychelles, though two tourists, one French and one British, were killed in shark attacks off Praslin in August 2011.
Officials said Praslin’s relatively cool waters could attract sharks during breeding. The Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration (SMSA) cordoned off the area where Sunday’s attack occurred to search for the shark. The SMSA also imposed a temporary ban on swimming in the area.