Shark widow returns home

Tragic loss, Gemma Redmond, nee Houghton
Tragic loss, Gemma Redmond, nee Houghton

THE grieving widow of a man killed by a shark made an emotional return to what would have been the marital home in Wigan.

Gemma Redmond, 27, flew back from the Seychelles at the weekend, and visited the two-bedroomed house in Roby Mill, where she was due to live with husband Ian.

The couple had renovated the cottage and were looking forward to sharing the home after their honeymoon.

But just 10 days after their marriage, Mr Redmond, 30, was attacked by the shark whilst snorkelling off Anse Lazio beach on the island of Praslin.

The primary school teacher looked on in horror as he was brought to shore and has told how his awful screams constantly haunt her.

Mrs Redmond, dressed in black, spent 45 minutes collecting a few treasured keepsakes, including photographs and clothes, whilst comforted by her mum and dad Coleta and David Houghton.

She then went to her parents’ home in Dalton.

Mrs Redmond’s return home follows a memorial service attended by more than 100 people, which was held on the beach at the resort on Friday.

Over the weekend, French surgeon Christian Renaud spoke of how he tried desperately to save Mr Redmond after the attack.

In his account of the ordeal, published in French newspaper La Depeche, Dr Renaud told how the IT specialist from Nelson let out a “scream of terror” before disappearing below the water.

He said: “He had already lost too much blood before we got him into the dinghy.

“Despite all my best efforts, I lost him.”

It has been revealed that the savage killer may have been a Great White shark – rare in tropical waters – following the analysis of a tooth belonging to the animal which was removed from Mr Redmond‘s body.

It had been originally thought that the attack had been caused by a Tiger shark, which are more common in the area.

The disclosure came as officials in the Seychelles admitted they should have closed beaches after a shark killed a French tourist weeks before Mr Redmond’s death.

Alain St Ange, the director of Seychelles Tourism Board, said: “The beach was manned by two policemen who tried to tell as many people as possible not to go in the sea or to stay at knee-depth.

“Maybe we should have done more.”

Government officials have issued a ban on swimming in certain areas until the killer shark is captured and have called in the Navy and the coastguard to assist.