Briton Ian Redmond Killed by Shark: Wife 'Didn't Really Think There Would Be Sharks in the Seychelles'

New widow describes husband's shark attack: "It was the most awful scream."

August 18, 2011, 6:05 PM

Aug. 18, 2011— -- Widowed bride Gemma Houghton says that one of the reasons she and her husband Ian Redmond chose to honeymoon in the Seychelles was because they had been assured there were no dangerous animals in its deep, clear waters.

"We didn't really think that sharks would be in the Seychelles at all," Houghton told the BBC. "It wasn't something we were aware of."

Redmond, 30, was snorkeling in tranquil waters of Anse Lazio beach on the island of Praslin Tuesday when the shark attacked.

Houghton could see his bright orange snorkel gear from where she had been sunning on the beach when her husband began screaming for help, she said.

"All of the sudden, I heard 'Help!' and I thought at first he was sneezing," said Houghton.

"It was the most awful scream, and I can still hear it when I close my eyes," she said. "He's never screamed like that before because he's such a strong man, such a strong man, so brave."

Houghton said that her husband was conscious when he was brought to the shore by speedboat.

"He looked me in the eyes and said, 'Alright,'" she said. "I could see a mixture in his eyes of fear and a realization, a relief that he had seen me, that I was there. I think I told him I loved him very much. I hope I did."

Redmond died in a hospital shortly afterwards from blood loss.

New Widow Describes Husband Ian Redmond's Death by Shark Attack

Houghton told the BBC that that the despite the horrific accident, "the last thing I would want is for any of these events to affect the Seychelles people, their livelihoods and the tourism in the area. It's a beautiful place. People must come."

"It's a one-off accident and I know that everyone is doing everything they can to ensure that the islands are safe."

The couple, who had wed on Aug. 6, are one of thousands of couples who flock to the Indian Ocean islands from Europe annually. Newlyweds Prince William and Kate Middleton visited North Island in the Seychelles for their honeymoon earlier this year.

Briton Ian Redmond Died in Freak Shark Attack on Seychelles Beach

The incident was the latest in a recent outbreak of shark attacks on the beach of Anse Lazio in the Seychelles. A French tourist was killed two weeks ago by a shark under similar circumstances while snorkeling in the waters during the late afternoon.

Ronald Jumeau, the Seychelles ambassador to the U.S., told ABC News that reports that the killer shark was six feet were false.

"We haven't had a reliable sighting," Jumeau said. "We don't know where that number came from. People have been guessing. We have no idea whatsoever about what type of variety of shark it would be."

Jumeau told ABC News that a special committee had been assembled, composed of standing authorities from the National Parks, the Seychelles Fishing Authority, area police, the Coast Guard, marine biologists, hotel security and residents of the area to coordinate their actions in guarding the area and preventing a third attack.

"A domestic advisory has been announced to make sure people don't go too far out," Jumeau said. "They are monitoring the waters to insure that they can get the shark. There's probably just one shark, but we are certainly taking precautions. There is no panic on the island, no wild shark hunt, although some of the popular beaches around that area have been closed and are being patrolled."

Current precautions include using fishing nets to cordon off areas of the bay. Fishing boats are also circulating in the area with bait in hopes of luring the shark.

Seychelles officials tried to downplay the dangers of sharks in the area.

"In Seychelles, we don't even think about sharks," Jumeau said. "It's that rare. Seychelles is not known for that. ... That beach is one of my favorite beaches, and until now I would have gone into the water without hesitation."

Selby Pillay, Seychelles minister of counselor to the U.N., told that most of its tourists come from Europe.

"We've had approximately 100,000 tourists since January," he said.