British tourist ‘aware and able to communicate’ in hospital after shark attack

A British tourist who was seriously injured in a shark attack off a Caribbean island is “aware of what is happening and can communicate” in intensive care, his wife has said.

Peter Smith, 64, from Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, was savaged 10 metres off the shore near the Starfish Hotel in Courland Bay on the north coast of Tobago on Friday morning.

He suffered damage to his left arm and leg, puncture wounds to the abdomen and injuries to his right hand, the full extent of which are still being evaluated after the attack by a bull shark.

He was in a “stable” condition in Scarborough General Hospital in Tobago on Sunday after undergoing surgery.

His wife Jo said in a statement through the BBC: “As of 9am local time today, Peter is aware of what is happening and is able to communicate a little, although he is still under strong medication.”

She thanked “two friends” who remained in the water during the attack to “battle” the shark, estimated to be 8ft to 10ft long and 2ft wide.

The couple had been holidaying on the island with friends and were due to fly home that day.

The UK foreign office said it was supporting the family.

Several beaches and coastal areas were closed and a 10,000 US dollar (£8,000) bounty previously offered to anyone who could capture the shark was later retracted.

Last year, there were 69 unprovoked shark attacks and 22 provoked bites worldwide, along with 14 fatalities, according to the Florida-based International Shark Attack File.


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