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UK tourists issued urgent Caribbean travel warning by Foreign Office

British tourists have been issued an urgent travel warning by the UK Foreign Office.

The Foreign Office told holidaymakers going to the Caribbean that the Tobago authorities were forced to temporarily close a marine park due to a shark attack.

The UK Foreign Office warned: “Following a shark attack on a tourist at Turtle Beach/Courland Bay on April 26, 2024, the Tobago authorities have temporarily closed the Buccoo Reef Marine Park until further notice.

“This closure is effective immediately and applies to all recreational activities, including snorkeling, diving, glass-bottom boat tours, and any other water-based activities within the park boundaries. 

“The Tobago authorities 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.”

A British tourist was attacked by what appeared to be a 8-10ft bull shark, according to the Tobago House of Assembly. 

National Geographic said that a bull shark is “among the most likely sharks to attack humans”. 

Tobago’s Division of Tourism, Culture, Antiquities and Transportation said: “The division would also like to reassure the public that the safety of our visitors is a priority and all expertise is being engaged to ensure safety and manage this situation as best as possible.

“The Tobago Emergency Management Agency has also advised that beaches along the westerly end of the island be closed until further notice.”

All reef tours in the area are to be suspended until further notice too.

It also said the attack was a “very unusual occurrence as Tobago is renowned for its safe and beautiful beaches”. 

Beaches shut include Grafton Beach and Mt Irvine as well as Rocky Point, Buccoo Beach and Pigeon Point. Other beaches closed include Grange Bay, Store Bay and Swallows alongside No Man’s Land.