An Australian tourist has died in a shark attack in the French overseas territory of New Caledonia. The attack happened on Sunday afternoon just 150 meters from a crowded beach in the capital Noumea, according to local broadcaster 1ère Nouvelle Calédonie. The 59-year-old was swimming near a pontoon when the shark attacked and bit him several times, it said.

The victim was brought ashore by two helpers on jet skis. However, his injuries, especially to his legs, were so severe that all attempts at resuscitation failed. By order of Mayor Sonia Lagarde, all beaches around Nouméa have been closed. Attempts were made to track down the predatory fish from the air using drones. It was not yet clear what species of shark it was.

The island paradise in the South Pacific is about 1200 kilometers east of Australia. Shark attacks are rather rare in the archipelago.