P.E.I. kiteboarder ‘lucky to be alive’ after shark attack in Turks and Caicos

A professional kiteboarder from P.E.I. says he has been seriously injured in a shark attack that occurred while he was snorkelling in the Turks and Caicos Islands last week.

In an Instagram post on the weekend, Lucas Arsenault shared a photo of himself in a hospital bed with his lower right leg apparently missing and his left leg and forearm heavily bandaged.

In an accompanying caption, he said the injuries were the result of a shark attack while snorkelling with family and friends on Thursday.

“It was a shocking experience. I cannot express how lucky I am to be here,” he wrote. “This will present new challenges for me, but I am incredibly positive and thankful to be here doing well to continue living my life to the fullest.”

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Media in Turks and Caicos reported the Canadian was attacked off the island of Providenciales. The Royal Turks and Caicos Island Police Force said in a statement Friday that they had responded the day before to a report of a 27-year-old man who was injured while snorkelling in Providenciales.

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Police said he was brought ashore and rushed to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center for treatment, and they shared no further details Tuesday.

Arsenault did not respond to an emailed message Tuesday, and in his social media post he asked for privacy.

“Life can sure be fragile. Despite the terrible situation, I am incredibly lucky to be still here,” he said, vowing to adapt to his new situation.

“It’s a speed bump in the road on this journey of life,” he wrote.

The kiteboarder is sponsored by the Hawaii-based kitesurfing equipment company Cabrinha, which describes him as a freestyle champion who has lived on P.E.I. his whole life. The company replied to his Instagram post, sending “positive vibes” and love to him and his family.

Arsenault was featured in a 2018 video by Cabrinha, made with support from Prince Edward Island Tourism, highlighting the best spots to kiteboard around the Island.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 28, 2024.

&copy 2024 The Canadian Press

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