Hundreds of people got together for a touching beachfront tribute for a 13-year-old surfing champion tragically killed by a shark.
Elio Canestri was surfing with friends off the French holiday island of Reunion when a shark struck from below, knocking him off his board. Witnesses described how Elio was being ‘flung around in the water’ after the shark had bit into his stomach.
Leading the tributes was fellow professional and Billabong Pipeline Masters winner, Jeremy Flores, who took to Instagram upon hearing the sad news.
He posted a photo of Elio and wrote:
ANOTHER shark attack in Reunion island this morning. 13 years old Elio was one of our best up and coming surfer. Words can’t describe how sad and angry i am. So young !!! Heart breaking News . RIP :(
In what turned out to be a truly gruesome attack, the shark tore off the child’s arms, legs and part of his stomach, before dragging him out to sea.
In the past four years there have been seven total fatalities as a result of a shark attack in Lobster Cape, an area on the west coast of the island.
Those who witnessed the incident are currently being treated for trauma. Our hearts go out to Elio’s family and friends.