Réunion Island shark victim identified by wedding ring was married in Carnforth

A man whose severed hand and wedding ring was found inside a tiger shark on an Indian Ocean island this week was married in Carnforth.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 8th November 2019, 4:14 pm
Martyn and Verity Turner at The Ashton Memorial in Lancaster.
Martyn and Verity Turner at The Ashton Memorial in Lancaster.

Richard Martyn Turner, 44, is believed to have been attacked and eaten by the shark after authorities on Réunion island found his hand with the wedding ring attached inside it.

Martyn who was on holiday with his wife, Verity, and is understood to have lived in Carnforth, was snorkelling alone when he vanished in a lagoon where four sharks were later caught.

It is understood Martyn’s wife Verity, a fine art graduate, who is still on the island, also lived in the Lancaster and Morecambe area.

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Martyn and Verity were married at St Oswalds Church, in Warton.

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 in the Lancaster Guardian’s archive, which we are unable to use due to copyright restrictions, 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.

Since 2014, Martyn had been living and working as a civil servant for Registers of Scotland in Edinburgh.

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

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

“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.

Photo: David Hurst Midland Hotel, Morecambe.

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

A spokesman for the island’s search and rescue crew told the Daily Mail: “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.”