British tourist fighting for life after horrific shark attack off Caribbean island of Tobago

A British tourist is in a “stable” condition after being attacked by a shark attack off a Caribbean island.

Father-of-two Peter Smith, 64, from Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, was savaged near the Starfish Hotel in Courland Bay, Tobago on Friday morning.

He remains in Scarborough General Hospital with his NHS worker wife Joanna, 62, at his side.

Mr Smith sustained injuries to his left hand, left thigh and stomach following the attack involving a bull shark estimated to be eight to 10 feet long and two feet wide.

Tobago’s chief secretary Farley Augustine told reporters Mr Smith was in a “critical, but stable” condition after surgery had taken place.

He said Mr Smith, a retired IT worker, had been holidaying on the island with his wife and friends and was due to fly home that day.

Mr Augustine added that the local government was working closely with the British High Commission.

The Foreign Office said it was supporting the family.

Footage shared by Mr Augustine showed the shark prowling close to shore at nearby Buccoo beach.

Orion Jakerov, a water sports manager at the Starfish Hotel, saw Mr Smith’s fellow holidaymakers trying to fight off the beast, which “nobody saw coming”.

He said: “I don’t think they saw it.

“They were in about waist deep to shoulder-high water, so they weren’t out of their depth.

“I think their backs were turned and they were just lounging around and nobody saw the shark coming.

“Even while the shark was doing the attack, the other people in the water were physically trying to fight off the shark.”

Briton Stephanie Wright, from West Sussex, added: “We saw some people on the beach and I originally thought the gentleman had had a cardiac arrest and I thought they were helping him.

“I saw someone running down with a towel and then I saw a dorsal fin come out of the water and thought, ‘Oh my God, it’s a shark.'

“As it turned, I saw the tail come out as well as it swam off.”

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

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