Tobago beaches closed and activities cancelled after shark attack on British man

By Lisa James
Home » Tobago beaches closed and activities cancelled after shark attack on British man

The Foreign Office has updated its advice to Tobago after a British holidaymaker was attacked by a shark.

Ten beaches and the Buccoo Reef Marine Park have been closed until further notice after the attack on Friday, 26 April. Reef tours have also been suspended.

Peter Smith, 64, suffered damage to his left arm and leg, puncture wounds to the abdomen, and injuries to his right hand, in the attack near the Starfish Hotel in Courland Bay, also known as Turtle Beach, on the north coast of Tobago.

The attack, believed to be by a bull shark, happened 10 metres offshore, on the day the couple and their friends had been due to fly home.

Tobago’s Division of Tourism, Culture, Antiquities and Transportation said the attack was ‘a very unusual occurrence as Tobago is renowned for its safe and beautiful beaches’.

It added: “The division would also like to reassure the public that the safety of our visitors is a priority and all expertise is being engaged to ensure safety and manage this situation as best as possible.

“The Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) has also advised that beaches along the westerly end of the island be closed until further notice.”

The FCDO said: Following a shark attack on a tourist at Turtle Beach/Courland Bay on 26 April 2024, the Tobago authorities have temporarily closed the Buccoo Reef Marine Park (BRMP) until further notice.

“This closure is effective immediately and applies to all recreational activities, including snorkelling, diving, glass-bottom boat tours, and any other water-based activities within the park boundaries. 

“The Tobago authorities strongly advise all beachgoers, fisherfolk, and mariners to exercise extreme caution when operating in the coastal areas surrounding Plymouth, Courland Bay, Black Rock, Mt. Irvine, Buccoo, Pigeon Point, Store Bay, and all areas in between.  You should check and follow the advice of local authorities.”

The beaches that have been closed are: Turtle Beach, Grafton Beach, Mount Irvine Beach, Grange Bay, Rocky Point , Buccoo Beach, Swallows Beach, No Man’s Land, Store Bay and Pigeon Point (pictured).

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