Australian father identified, as monster shark hooked

Australian man mauled by shark in Noumea

The family of an Australian father killed by a shark at a crowded beach in New Caledonia has expressed gratitude to all who tried to save him.

Chris Davis has been identified as the 59-year-old victim who suffered two fatal bites while swimming off a pontoon about 150 metres from Chateau Royal beach on Sunday.

After launching a major search, authorities said they had caught the predator and released images of a 4.5-metre monster, believed to be a tiger shark.

The huge creature was caught in the waters close to where Mr Davis had been swimming, just south of the French Pacific territory’s capital Noumea.

The shocking attack in front of onlookers occurred just days after the beach had re-opened after another shark attack three weeks previous in the same area.

chris davis shark

Husband, father and accomplished triathlete Chris Davis. Photo: Supplied

Confronting CCTV video attached to a resort captured the unfolding drama.

Mr Davis could be seem swimming in the distance before lifesavers on jet skis raced out to his location in a desperate attempt to save him.

The Australian software programmer was brought back to shore and dragged out of the water onto the sand which was packed with horrified tourists.

Despite rescuers attempting resuscitation, the tourist could not be saved and he died at the scene.

Mr Davis’ family said in a statement they were “deeply mourning the loss of our beloved husband and father”.

They said Mr Davis was a senior software programming consultant in the superannuation and funds management industry.

He was a star triathlete who had represented Australia several times in his age group at World Championship events.

“He is survived by his wife and three adult sons, who express their sincere gratitude to the New Caledonian authorities for the efforts in treating him and to the Australian and New Caledonian governments for aiding his return to Australia,” said the family.

“We thank the media and the public during this difficult time for respecting the privacy of the family.”

Photos of the shark have been circulating on social media.

Local prosecutor Yves Dupas said Mr Davis suffered four major wounds on the thigh, hands and right arm which appeared to represent at least two shark bites, Nine News reports.

“The bite on the major thigh, extending 37cm from the hip to the knee, caused a deep lesion with the section of the femoral artery,” Ms Dupas said.

Ms Dupas said the second bite to the upper limbs, forearm and hands was “also fatal”.

Meanwhile New Caledonia local Bridgette Do, 49, is recovering in an Australian hospital after losing one hand, four fingers on the other hand and part of her leg.

She had been taking her daily swim in the same area where Mr Davis was taken when she was bitten and helped by people on the beach in a “miracle” survival three weeks ago.

The BBC reported and a surfer was also attacked a few days later.

New Caledonia is a popular holiday destination 1200 kilometres east of Australia.

It is home to 270,000 people and, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History, ranks 13th in the world for the number of shark attacks.

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