P.E.I. kiteboarder who lost leg in shark attack faces long road to recovery

By The Canadian Press

A professional kiteboarder from Prince Edward Island faces a long road to recovery after he lost his leg in a shark attack while snorkelling in the Turks and Caicos Islands in late May.

An update to an online fundraising campaign says Lucas Arsenault lost his right leg and suffered significant damage to his left hand and foot.

Turks and Caicos police said in an email last month that the 27-year-old was taken to a hospital in the territory for treatment, but the update on the GoFundMe page says he is now in a Toronto hospital.

A video on the page shows Arsenault smiling and making small talk with people in the Toronto hospital as he takes a few steps using a walker and with the support of two health-care workers.

The page says family and friends are not sure when Arsenault will be discharged from hospital, because of the risks of infection from his extensive injuries.

In 2018, Arsenault was featured in a video by Cabrinha, a Hawaii-based kitesurfing equipment company, made with support from Prince Edward Island Tourism, highlighting the best spots to kiteboard around the province.

The organizer of the GoFundMe page did not respond to a request for interview.

“The amount of damage that he received due to the attack has made the recovery process far more complicated than planned,” says a post on GoFundMe.

“Aside from losing his right leg above his knee, he received significant muscle and tendon damage to his left hand and foot, resulting in him not being able to put full loads on either (until) they heal.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 11, 2024.

Watch the video of Lucas Arsenault recovering in hospital here: https://youtu.be/eiv1UXTwUn4?si=7TlheSw36TXELp5F

The Canadian Press

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