Gemma Redmond, the widow of honeymoon shark attack victim Ian Redmond, gave a heartfelt tribute at his funeral to her “soul mate and best friend”.
Gemma Redmond, 27, told the hundreds of mourners at St Michael’s Church in Dalton, Lancashire, where they were married three weeks ago:
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – you were and are my best friend.”
“I promise you will never ever be forgotten and I will miss you so very much. You, above all people, knew how hard I found it to say goodbye to others and so I know you will understand if I don’t say it. What I will say instead is <<See you soon!>>. I’m looking forward to it so very much.”
Gemma Redmond, the widow of honeymoon shark attack victim Ian Redmond, gave a heartfelt tribute at his funeral
About 300 people were at the St Michael’s Church for the service conducted by the Reverend Tim Barton and other 200 mourners stood outside within the grounds and listened to the service on loudspeakers.
Gemma Redmond recalled her wedding day and then remembered their Seychelles honeymoon.
“We were having such a happy time,’ she said. ‘It was a lovely adventure and we were enjoying experiencing new things.
“We felt so at peace, so relaxed and were so excited about the future. It was truly romantic.
“Each and every time you went swimming and snorkelling and I watched you, I could never quite believe that I was married to you.
“You were the most handsome and perfect man I have ever seen and I always longed for you to come back out of the sea and be back with me.
“We could talk about anything and everything with each other – laugh, cry or just be quiet.
“You completed me and are the best thing that has ever happened to me.
“Whilst I cannot believe that you are gone, I am in shock and hurting so very much. I am comforted and consoled by the rich tapestry of our memories that we formed over our nine years together. Thank you.
“All my love now, forever and always, your wife, Gemma.”
On August 16, just ten days after Gemma, a primary school teacher and Ian Redmond, IT specialist, got married, while they were on honeymoon in the Seychelles, the groom had been attacked by a shark as he was swimming in the waters off Anse Lazio beach on Praslin, the second largest island in the archipelago.
Gemma and Ian Redmond married ten days before Seychelles shark attack
Ian Redmond, 30, was quickly brought to shore where a French surgeon, also on holiday, gave first aid on the beach as his bride looked on, but he lost too much blood due to the massive injuries.
Ian Redmond death was the second fatal shark attack in Seychelles in a month. Just two weeks before, a 36-year-old French tourist was killed by a shark in the same area.
Gemma and Ian were due to set up home in Skelmersdale on their return in a cottage that the groom had refurbished.
Gemma said also at the funeral her husband was referred to by his work colleagues in Leyland as the “Gold Standard” of software developers because of his dedication to work.
“But you were also the Gold Standard of men – always smiling, always finding time for the family and friends that you loved so dearly, you were never cross, just kind,” the widow said.
“Above all, you were the Gold Standard of husbands. Amazing, courageous, inspiring, entertaining, patient and loving.”
A British honeymooner was killed in a suspected shark attack in the idyllic honeymoon island Seychelles yesterday – as the horrified bride he wed 11 days ago looked on.
Ian Redmond, 30, was attacked in shallow water 100ft off a Seychelles beach. Ian swam off Anse Lazio beach, on the island of Praslin, according to multiple reports in British media.
His bride, Gemma Houghton, 27, from Wigan, was sunbathing and heard him shout “Help, help” as the Bull shark savaged him.
A British honeymooner was killed in a suspected shark attack in Seychelles
Ian Redmond suffered horrific injuries as the monster tore huge chunks of flesh from his body. According to the eyewitnesses, Ian suffered serious wounds to his chest and limbs, and that one of his arms appeared to have been completely severed.
Fishermen carried him to the beach in a dinghy but he died before paramedics could arrive as his wife wept beside him and screamed “that’s my husband”.
A witness, also called Ian, said: “The swimmer was missing a huge chunk of flesh from his left leg, so much so that I could see the bone of his thigh. He was sickeningly pale, but still had his flippers on both feet.” [googlead tip=”patrat_mare” aliniat=”dreapta”]
“A woman ran over and started screaming. She said, <<That’s my husband! We were just married>>.”
An islander said: “The man was swimming close to the beach. He began splashing and shouting. His arm was ripped off and parts of his torso were missing. There was a horrific amount of blood in the water. It was like Jaws.”
Another witness said someone grabbed Gemma and kept her away from her mutilated husband.
He added: “The damage was too great. It was too horrific for her to see.”
Jeanne Vargiolu, 56, a beach restaurant owner said Ian “had lost one arm and had the flesh stripped off one leg.”
“He also had holes in his chest and stomach.”
She added: “All the meat on one leg was gone.”
Bill Houghton, the bride’s uncle, said: “Gemma is just devastated. They had a perfect wedding. Ian was a fantastic bloke.”
Ian and Gemma Redmond married 11 days before shark attack
The couple, who married on August 6, was at stunning Anse Lazio beach in the early evening, when the shark attacked in shallow waters, 100ft from the shore.
Seychelles, the Praslin Island, where Ian Redmond was attacked by the Bull shark.
The previous shark attack victim was a French diver. [googlead tip=”patrat_mediu” aliniat=”stanga”]
A Seychelles tourism source said: “The latest bite marks are consistent with that of a Bull shark. It is probably the same rogue maneater.”
The couple’s families, David and Coleta Houghton and Stephen and Corinne Redmond, were flying to the resort last night.
Britain’s Foreign Office late Monday confirmed the death and said it was providing consular assistance to the next of kin. [googlead tip=”lista_mare” aliniat=”dreapta”]
The British high commissioner was reportedly traveling to the island to comfort Redmond’s new wife, Gemma Houghton, 27, who apparently witnessed the entire gruesome incident from where she lay sunbathing on the beach.
The East African nation is mainly reliant on tourism and fishing. Prince William and his bride spent their 10-day honeymoon there, on the same island chain.
Island officials have launched a hunt for the shark with the help of sealife experts, but in the meantime are warning swimmers to stick to ankle-deep water on the pristine beaches.