Everything is not sunshine and eternal smiles even if you are in the Seychelle paradise.
First of August 2011 a 36 years old French tourist was eaten alive by a shark in the famous Anse Lazio beach in the island of Praslin. He was swimming about 50 meters from the shore.
The reaction from local authority’s and tourist sector was apparently to talk with a whispering voice about an eventual boat propeller accident.
No warning signs was put up!!
16 of August, two weeks later, the second tragedy occurred, same place, now a British tourist. His wife sins ten days stood screaming at the beach while the blue waters turned red. The hush-hush strategy from officials and other affected sectors showed to be a fatal mistake.. the story exploded on world media.
3 policemen were assigned to watch at the beach, a warning sign and a shark protection net was put up (still no mentioning about sharks though)
Now the big hunt begun!
A number of boats with machine gun crews ordered to shoot on sight were called in to catch the “beast”, most likely a Great White shark. One of the boats a 90ft trawler had the name “Amity”. Those who have seen the Spielberg film Jaws understand the irony in that.
The local Seychellois are still somewhat in shock.. I have personally heard the expression
“foreign sharks in our friendly waters” repeatedly. and talks about “Great whites from South Africa”
Trying hard to clear my mind from these disturbing facts I was walking the very very very narrow road on the Praslin island that leads to Anse Lazio.
Just a minute earlier I had passed a curve (those of you who have been in the Seychelles understand the magnitude of the word curve in this nation) and spotted the bus stop I was looking for.
Then suddenly a terrible, loud crash on the spot where i just had walked, palm trees cracking like toothpicks…. I immediately understood it must have been a car crash of some kind. Ran back towards the curve and saw a big truck upside down beside the road. Screamed at some nearby persons to call an ambulance. I was absolutely convinced that nobody could have survived that type of accident!
Filled with anxiety about what I was going to witness and of course that I would have to do whats necessary to help injured people!!
One guy had climbed down before me to aid the driver (and passengers??)
The miracle occurred when I observed the driver in shock get out of his truck cabin and as far as I could see with no fractures no blood.
He just stood there pale, (thats him on the photo) with an empty look on his face for a long while staring at his big truck with the wheels in the air and gasoline leaking out of the tank. Lots of people approaching screaming loudly.
After a while when it was evident that no one else had been in the “camion” I put my hand on the drivers shoulder and said “congratulations.. you´re alive!”
Ten minutes later the bus towards Anse Lazio arrived. I entered, asked the driver if he had seen the accident (obviously!) and muttered something about “please take it slow” found an empty seat and as the only passenger on the bus I fastened my seatbelt!
Made three magnificent dives during my visit to the Seychelles.
As a guest in another world that belongs to its inhabitants we are to show respect to their environment. Some of the creatures in this world are predators by instinct. They are not “beasts”. The risk though of being attacked is minimal unless you are behaving in an ignorant or provocative manner.
In nearby future posts I will share some of the beauty I saw in the big blue!
And yes I dipped myself in the sea that day at Anse Lazio, inside the protection net. The day after my visit the net was removed!!
Drive carefully and fasten your seatbelt!