British man seriously injured in Tobago shark attack

A 64-year-old British man is receiving “critical care” after he was attacked by a shark 10 meters from the shore in Scarborough, Trinidad and Tobago.

According to Farley Chavez Augustine, the Chief Secretary of Tobago, the man was attacked on Friday morning local time by what appeared to be a bull shark.

Augustine said that the victim’s left thigh and left arm from the elbow down were “severed,” and that the man’s stomach was lacerated. Some of his fingers were able to be reattached after surgery at Scarborough General Hospital, Augustine said in a press conference late Friday night.

Despite being in the ICU and sedated, the man is “stable and is doing well,” Augustine said. The man is mostly sedated because his “wounds will have him in significant pain,” he added.

The victim was vacationing in Tobago with his wife and friends, Augustine said, and was scheduled to return from the Caribbean to the United Kingdom on Friday. The group planned on taking one last swim before preparing to leave, which is when the shark attack took place.

State broadcaster Trinidad and Tobago Television (TTT) posted a video of an eyewitness describing the incident. Orion Jakerov, water sports manager at the Starfish Resort, said that the man was in “waist-deep to shoulder-high water,” with his back turned to the shark, though none of the group were originally aware of its presence.

The people accompanying the man “were trying to physically fight off the shark” after it attacked, Jakerov added.

The shark is believed to have been between eight and 10 foot long, Augustine said. The Tobago House of Assembly offered a $10,000 Trinidad and Tobago Dollar reward (around $1,470 USD) for the successful capture of the shark, but later recalled this bounty.

A number of beaches around the area of the incident have been temporarily closed, including the Buccoo Reef Marine Park, authorities said.

The British High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago posted travel guidance related to the attack on X, noting the closure of the marine park.

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