Tributes to Edinburgh civil servant Richard Martyn Turner named as Réunion Island 'shark attack' victim

Richard Martyn Turner from Saughton has been named locally as the tourist whose severed had was found in the belly of the creature off the Indian Ocean isle of Reunion.
Richard Martyn Turner from Saughton has been named locally as the tourist whose severed had was found in the belly of the creature off the Indian Ocean isle of Reunion.
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Severed hand with wedding ring was found in the belly of a tiger shark

SHOCKED neighbours have paid tribute to a holidaymaker from the Capital believed to have been attacked by a shark off a paradise island.

Richard Martyn Turner from Saughton has been named locally as the tourist whose severed had was found in the belly of the creature off the Indian Ocean isle of Reunion.

The 44-year-old tourist was snorkelling alone when he vanished in a lagoon while on holiday with wife Verity.

READ MORE: Victim of Réunion Island 'shark attack' named as Edinburgh civil servant Richard Martyn Turner

Neighbour and full-time carer in Saughton Mains Park, Andrew Whiteford, 64, said: "It's a tragedy. He wasn't very talkative but was friendly. His wife too.

"He kept himself to himself. I last saw him when I took a parcel for him."

Mr Turner’s hand was discovered, with the wedding ring still on his finger, inside the body of a tiger shark on Wednesday.

Local sources said the couple were at the five star resort of Lux Réunion hotel in Saint-Gilles for Mrs Turner's 40th birthday.

Mr Turner worked for Registers of Scotland.

A police source on Reunion told the media: “The hand and forearm of a man was found inside the stomach of one of the captured tiger sharks.

DNA tests

"All four were around three to four metres long. The woman identified the ring as belonging to her husband but the DNA tests will officially confirm if it is the missing man.

“Further investigations will be carried out on the sharks and their stomach contents examined.”

Four sharks were later caught nearby and Mr Turner’s hand found inside one of them after it was cut open.

Mr Turner’s wife Verity, a fine art graduate who previously lived in Lancashire, is still on the island.

The couple married five years ago at St Oswald’s Church in Warton, Carnforth, and held their wedding reception at the Midland Hotel in Morecambe.

Pictures show the couple at the Brief Encounter Tea Rooms in Carnforth, where they stopped off before the reception.

In the pictures, Martyn, son of the late Nick Turner and Gillian Turner, from Carnforth, is wearing a top hat and waistcoat, with brightly coloured flowers around the rim of his hat.

Mr Turner had been living and working as a civil servant for Registers of Scotland in Edinburgh for the past five years.

A spokesman for the local search and rescue crew – the Centre Regional Operationnel de Surveillance et de Sauvetage (Cross) reportedly said: “The victim was certainly swimming but it is not clear whether he was attacked or he was already dead when he was eaten.

“One possibility is that he became unwell while in the lagoon and was taken by the currents into deeper water.”