Seychelles Shark Killed More Than Happy Newlywed

sharkIt should have been heaven: British newlyweds on the ultimate honeymoon. Ian Redmond and his new wife, Gemma Houghton, were on their second week in Seychelles, the little island nation off of Africa. But the shark that killed Ian Redmond when he was snorkeling just 20 feet offshore shows how fast you can go from fantasy to horrific reality.


Officials are calling the giant fish that attacked Redmond a "rogue" because of its rare decision to attack an innocent swimmer. There are only 2,320 unprovoked shark attacks on record in the entire world. Considering that number dates back to 1580, and only 447 people have died out of that already small number, we're talking the most minuscule of risks that your beach honeymoon is going to have a Jaws-like ending.

That should make brides out there feel more comfortable today. I guess if I were planning a vacay on the water, I would be a little calmer after taking a look at the numbers. But I can't help thinking about poor Gemma Houghton. The unusual nature of her new husband's death doesn't seem comforting at all. It seems that much more tragic.

No one could have foreseen that kind of tragedy. It kind of kills your hope that we can handle anything if we can at least calculate the risks and decide what's worth it.

It's the stuff we don't factor in always seems to hurt the worst. You know -- the 42-year-old man who doesn't wake up one morning or the kid who "just had a headache" and is gone by evening. There's no time to prepare yourself.

Maybe I'm too much of a realist (I prefer that one over cynic, thankyouverymuch), but you don't get to adulthood without realizing there are risks out there. The plane to the islands could crash. You could get mugged by a local who spots "tourist" written all over your lovey dovey "I'm on my honeymoon" face. And not to be all debbie downer, but just getting hitched is a bit of a gamble. Sure Redmond and Houghton were together for eight years before they did the deed, but we all know the couple who got married only to fall apart in a few weeks because it turned out he was hiding (take your pick) a mistress, a gambling habit, his penchant for beating up women ... it's a calculated risk, but the best people go in with their eyes open. You know what you're up against.

But it doesn't get worse than saying "see you in a few honey," only to have your brand new husband killed by a shark. Talk about not seeing that coming. The shark killed Ian Redmond, but it also killed the foolish (but very human) notion that we can control everything in our lives, that we can protect ourselves from pain.

Is this the saddest honeymoon story you've ever heard?


Image via StormyDog/Flickr

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