Should you rethink your honeymoon to the Seychelles?

Last week, a British man was tragically killed by a shark while honeymooning in the Seychelles. Understandably, if you saw this story and are thinking of honeymooning in the Seychelles, or have already booked your trip there, you may be having a few doubts about whether this is really the honeymoon paradise that it’s cracked up to be, and whether it’s really wise to travel to the islands.

So, is it safe?

There have, unfortunately, been two deaths from shark attacks in the Seychelles in recent weeks. This is obviously incredibly tragic, but it’s important to remember that events like these are extremely rare. In reaction to the events, the Seychelles Maritime Safety Authority has put a temporary ban on swimming off certain beaches on the island of Praslin into place – if you’re going out over the next few weeks or so, do check current information while you’re there, and make sure you only swim in designated places. This might sound a bit worrying, but it is just a temporary measure, and the Seychelles are still considered a safe destination by the FCO.

Keeping safe in the water

I can’t reiterate enough that shark attacks are really rare. But, if you’re worried (or, even if you’re not), it’s worth bearing these points in mind, courtesy of the Florida Museum of Natural History (though some, you would think, are pretty obvious…):

  • Always swim in a group
  • Don’t wander too far from shore
  • Avoid the water at night, dawn, or dusk
  • Don’t enter the water if bleeding
  • Don’t wear shiny jewellery
  • Don’t go into water containing sewage
  • Avoid waters being fished and those with lots of bait fishes
  • Don’t enter the water if sharks are present
  • Avoid an uneven tan and brightly coloured clothing
  • Don’t splash a lot
  • Use care near sandbars or steep drop-offs
  • Don’t relax just because porpoises are nearby
  • Don’t try to touch a shark if you see one
  • If attacked by a shark, the general rule is “Do whatever it takes to get away”

Photo courtesy of Didier Baertschiger

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