Colette Hélène Pierrette Pelissier, a 65-year-old French woman, met a tragic end in Palmar lagoon on the afternoon of Sunday September 17. She was swimming in the water, watched by her husband, when she suddenly disappeared from the surface. Her husband, 71-year-old Jean Pelissier, saw only foam where his wife had been swimming. The alarm was immediately sounded. Searches carried out well into the night turned up nothing. It was not until Monday afternoon, September 18, that the body of the tourist was recovered.
The Pelissier couple arrived in Mauritius on Tuesday September 12. They were staying in a villa in Poste Lafayette and were due to return to France on Tuesday, September 19. In the early evening of Sunday September 17, Jean Pelissier gave a statement at the Trou d’Eau Douce police station, reporting that his wife had disappeared at sea.
The septuagenarian gave a detailed account of the circumstances surrounding the disappearance. On Sunday September 17, he and his wife went to the Palmar public beach. As he decided to sit on the beach, his wife decided to jump into the water. At some point, Hélène Pelissier had disappeared from the surface of the water, and her husband had to find some scum there.
As soon as the alert was given, a vast search operation was launched with the help of the National Coast Guard of Belle Mare and Trou d’Eau Douce and elements of the tourist police. The police helicopter also took part in the search. The search continued until 9pm.
The search resumed at daybreak on Monday, September 18. The body of Hélène Pelissier, torn to pieces, was found in the late afternoon. Her body was then taken to the morgue of the Dr A.G.Jeetoo Hospital, Port-Louis, for an autopsy. The autopsy was carried out by Dr. Sudesh Kumar Gungadin, head of the police forensic department, who attributed the death to asphyxia. But the body of the 60-year-old was also eaten by a shark.