A bulldog shark attacked a bather late Sunday morning on a busy beach in Noumea, New Caledonia, seriously injuring her hands, thigh and back.
Swimming is prohibited at all city beaches until further notice.
The attack occurred around 10:30 a.m. less than a hundred meters from the shore of Château Royal beach, one of the busiest in Noumea.
The 49-year-old woman is in serious condition
The cries of the swimmer, who was at the level of the buoys delimiting the swimming area, a hundred meters from the edge, alerted a stand-up paddler, who was able to put the victim back on his board.
The 49-year-old woman, injured in both hands, thigh and back, was quickly transferred to hospital, where she was in serious condition on Sunday evening, the national police said.
The shark was subsequently filmed by several witnesses from the pontoon that crosses the swimming area.
It is a bulldog shark, a species that can be aggressive towards humans, 3 to 4 meters long.
The municipality immediately banned swimming on all the city's beaches, as well as on the islets facing it.
Read alsoAre sharks approaching the coast?
In New Caledonia, sharks are more numerous near the coast during the months of January, February and March, the calving period.
The risk of attack is also greater after heavy rains, such as those experienced by the territory in recent days.
Shark attacks are more common in deep waters, but this is not the first time an accident has occurred in a busy swimming area.
On February 28, 2021, a 57-year-old man died after being bitten by a tiger shark, less than fifty meters from the edge of the beach of Îlot Maître, a tourist hotspot in Noumea.