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Man ‘surfing in banned area’ dies after shark rips leg off in horrifying attack

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  • 18:13, 9 MAY 2019
  • Updated18:20, 9 MAY 2019

A surfer who ignored warnings has died after being bitten by a shark in the Indian Ocean.

The man, 28, was savaged by the predator in a banned area off the small fishing town of Saint-Leu, near Reunion Island, according to French media reports.

Surfing in the area is heavily restricted due to a rising threat of shark attacks in its waters in recent years.

Authorities had reportedly issued warnings to stay clear of the water on the morning of the attack.

French broadcaster BFM TV reports the attack, which happened at around 4pm local time, was the 24th in the waters of Reunion Island since 2011.

Local news site Clicanoo said the surfer was out with three other friends when the shark attacked him, tearing off one leg.

His friends tried in vain to save him, but were battling swells and his body reportedly drifted away.

Authorities told the site they recovered the surfer from the sea but were unable to revive him.

According to reports, the surfer's friends had been wearing shark-repelling devices on their ankles.

The victim, from Saint-Denis, was not wearing one of the devices, according to Clicanoo.

BFM TV reports Reunion authorities had in recent days issued a warning the coastline was becoming more dangerous to surfers with the presence of bull sharks amid the changing water temperatures.

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