7 Tobago Beaches Closed after Shark Attack

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By Prior Beharry

AFTER a shark attack on a British national in Tobago and sightings in the Grafton Area, seven beaches and a major tourist attraction the Buccoo Reef Marine Park were closed on Friday.

On a Facebook post, on Friday, Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary Farley Augustine said, “We are receiving notices of shark sightings in the Grafton Area.


“Consequently, out of an abundance of caution (for the remaining portions of today),  we are forced to temporarily close beaches: Plymouth, Courland Bay, Black Rock, Mt Irvine, Buccoo, Pigeon Point, Store Bay and all coastal areas in between. This will lead to a temporary suspension of the reef tours in the area.

“Fisherfolk and mariners should exercise caution when operating in the area.

“Currently, we are doing drone reconnaissance/surveillance, Coast Guard surveillance, and the Department of Fisheries is combing the area to ensure safety.”


Around 9.15 am, Peter Smith, 64, of Berkhamsted England, was reportedly bitten by a bull shark about ten feet in length and two feet wide.

The shark attack occurred at Courland Bay also known as Turtle Bay by the popular Starfish Hotel.

Augustine reported that Smith’s left hand was severed from the elbow down. He also suffered injuries to his left thigh and stomach.

The British High Commission in Port Spain stated, “We’re supporting a British man after an incident and are in contact with the local authorities.”

One video circulating on social media shows a bull shark swimming in the Buccoo area.


In a release the THA stated, “The decision to close the Marine Park has been made out of an abundance of caution and to ensure the safety of all visitors and staff. The temporary closure will allow emergency responders, including the TT Coast Guard and the Department of Fisheries, to conduct a thorough assessment of the situation and neutralize the shark threat, if possible.

“We understand that this closure may cause inconvenience to our visitors and tour operators.
However, the safety of our patrons and the protection of our marine ecosystem are our top priorities. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding during this challenging time.

“Rest assured that we are working closely with local authorities and experts to monitor the situation and will provide timely updates as more information becomes available. We will notify the public as soon as it is deemed safe to re-open the Buccoo Reef Marine Park.

“In the meantime, we 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.

“For more information you may contact our Department of Marine Resources and Fisheries at


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