Surfer killed by sharks in French Caledonia

2009 is shaping up to be the Year of the Shark. Australia, in particular Sydney, seems to have a bunch of human-centric critters patrolling its shores, but now this terrible news from New Caledonia, as reported by

A young French man has died after he was attacked by sharks while surfing in New Caledonia, police say. The 19-year-old student’s arm was ripped off and his leg bitten when he was attacked “apparently by several sharks” while trying to get back onto a boat with his friend on Friday, police said.

The man’s friend managed to get him to shore, but he was dead by the time emergency workers reached him. The incident took place in an area popular with surfers and was the first fatal shark attack in the French Pacific territory since September 2007, when a young nurse was killed.

The victim was from northwest France but was studying in the New Caledonia capital, Noumea.