Bride's funeral tribute to Briton killed by Seychelles shark

30th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

A bride paid tribute to her husband at his funeral on Tuesday, in the same church where they married days before he was killed in a shark attack during their honeymoon in the Seychelles.

Ian Redmond, 30, was savaged by the shark on August 16, losing an arm. He died from blood loss despite the efforts of a surgeon on the beach as his new wife Gemma looked on.

They had married 10 days earlier at St Michael and All Angels Church in the village of Dalton, northwest England.

At the same church, his widow paid tribute to her "soul mate and best friend".

"We were having such a happy time. It was a lovely adventure and we were enjoying experiencing new things," the 27-year-old said of their honeymoon.

"We felt so at peace, so relaxed and were so excited about the future. It was truly romantic.

"Each and every time you went swimming and snorkelling and I watched you, I could never quite believe that I was married to you.

"You were the most handsome and perfect man I have ever seen and I always longed for you to come back out of the sea and be back with me.

"You completed me and are the best thing that has ever happened to me.

"Whilst I cannot believe that you are gone, I am in shock and hurting so very much. I am comforted and consoled by the rich tapestry of our memories that we formed over our nine years together. Thank you."

Up to 300 people packed the church, with around 200 more mourners listening to the service outside on loudspeakers.

The attack happened on the Anse Lazio beach -- a famous beauty spot hailed for its white sand on the archipelago's Praslin island --, in the same area where a shark attacked and killed a 36-year-old French diver earlier this month.

Shark attacks are rare in the Seychelles, with the last reported fatal attack before the recent killings in 1963, according to the government.

The 115-island archipelago is a popular top-end tourist destination. Prince William and his bride Catherine celebrated their honeymoon in the archipelago in May.

Last year, 79 people were attacked worldwide by sharks with six fatalities, the highest number of attacks in a decade and a 25-percent increase compared to 2009, according to researchers in Florida.

© 2011 AFP

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