My Ian was so brave
Shark widow’s tribute
By RYAN SABEY and RICHARD WHITE
THE widow of a Brit killed by a shark as he swam off their honeymoon island today paid an emotional tribute to her “brave husband”.
Ian Redmond was attacked in shallow water 100ft from an idyllic beach in the Seychelles.
Bride Gemma, 27, was sunbathing and heard him shout “help, help” as the Bull shark savaged him.
Gemma, from Wigan, told how the tragedy came as they were “having so much fun” on their dream trip.
She said: “My husband and my best friend was tragically killed yesterday.
“I loved him so much and he was a very special husband, a thoughtful son and a devoted brother.
“He worked tirelessly to give us both a wonderful married life and home.
“We were having so much fun and we were so excited about our future together.”
Gemma added: “Myself, our families and our friends are devastated and shocked by what has happened.
“The loss of Ian has left a gaping hole in our hearts that will never be filled.
“He was always calm and collected, strong and brave, witty and intelligent, handsome and caring, a remarkable individual who will be deeply and sorely missed. We are privileged and proud to have shared our lives with him.”
She spoke as her parents, David and Coleta Houghton, and Ian’s parents, Stephen and Corrine Redmond, were thought to have travelled to the island to support her.
Ian’s dad Stephen told a newspaper: “It’s devastating. The last time we saw them they were so happy.”
The attack on 30-year-old Ian on Praslin Island was the second by a Bull shark in two weeks. Fishermen carried him to the beach in a dinghy but he died before paramedics could arrive.
A witness, also called Ian, said: “The swimmer was missing a huge chunk of flesh from his left leg, so much so that I could see the bone of his thigh. He was sickeningly pale, but still had his flippers on both feet.
“A woman ran over and started screaming. She said, ‘That’s my husband! We were just married’.”
An islander said: “The man was swimming close to the beach. He began splashing and shouting. His arm was ripped off and parts of his torso were missing. There was a horrific amount of blood in the water. It was like Jaws.”
Another witness said someone grabbed Gemma and kept her away from her mutilated husband.
He added: “The damage was too great. It was too horrific for her to see.”
Beach restaurant boss Jeanne Vargiolu, 56, said Ian had lost one arm and had the flesh stripped off one leg.
He also had holes in his chest and stomach. She added: “All the meat on one leg was gone.”
Bill Houghton, the bride’s uncle, said yesterday: “Gemma is just devastated. They had a perfect wedding. Ian was a fantastic bloke.”
The couple, who married on August 6, were at stunning Anse Lazio beach in the early evening — about 3pm UK time — when the shark attacked in shallow waters, 100ft from the shore.
The previous shark attack victim was a French diver.
A Seychelles tourism source said: “The latest bite marks are consistent with that of a Bull shark. It is probably the same rogue maneater.”
Meanwhile, police spokesman Jean Toussaint said the first fatal shark attack was treated as a freak accident. But he said that search teams had now been sent out to find the animal.