23 Jun 2005

Shark kills New Zealand child holidaying in Vanuatu

3:24 pm on 23 June 2005

A New Zealand child has been killed by a shark in Vanuatu.

Seven year old Alysha Margaret Webster from Whitanga was on a yachting holiday with her family when the attack happened at a beach on Malekula Island yesterday.

The New Zealand High Commissioner in Port Vila, Paul Willis, says it appears Alysha was swimming quite near the beach with others when the shark appeared.

He says visitors are usually advised to check with the local chief or village about safe swimming spots.

"In this case I understand there were local people around so clearly, you know, the family might have had some reason to expect that it wasn't going to be too dangerous."

Paul Willis says consular staff are giving the Webster family all the help they can.