SEALINE - South African Angling and Boating Community > Non-Angling Discussion Area > The Outdoors > Shark Attack at Die Plaat
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|Shark Attack at Die Plaat|| Rating:
|Posted: Wed Dec 18th, 2013 06:38 am||
|Cape Town - A Cape Town surfer bitten by a shark on Monday is recovering after undergoing minor surgery.
The teenager – whose family has not released his name – was surfing with two friends at Die Plaat, just west of De Kelders in Walker Bay, on Monday morning. Hermanus is on the far-western side of the same bay.
Witness Brian Kilbey told the Cape Argus: “It was about 8.45am, with around head-high waves. The others had paddled out, but I was the last one to paddle out – I was still stretching on the beach – when I heard a shout. I looked up and couldn’t work out what was going on at first. There was a thrashing – evidently a tail fin – very near to one of the surfers.”
Kilbey estimated the shark to be about three metres long.
“I could see from the distance between the tail and the mouth that it was a decent-sized shark,” Kilbey said.
“It thrashed around quite a bit, but fortunately a set of waves came through and two of my fellow surfers caught the wave in.”
The third friend had been a little further out and caught the next wave in.
“(The surfer) who had been bitten first sat down and we checked the wound, on his left thigh,” Kilbey said.
“What seems to have happened is that it first bumped him and then turned round to bite. The lower jaw got the board and the top jaw his thigh.”
There were a series of puncture marks on the surfer’s leg.
“We tried to carry him a couple of times, but he was better off walking.”
A friend drove the injured surfer to a Hermanus hospital.
Kilbey, meanwhile, had contacted the Overstrand Municipality as well as Shark Spotters. The public were warned on social media sites and at the scene to be wary for a few hours.
“It was scary, but we’re not over-reacting,” said Kilbey.
“I’m going to surf again as soon as I can. Possibly not there for a while, but we’ll all be back in the water soon.
“I’ve been a regular surfer for 18 years. I’ve surfed some spots which should be a lot sharkier than that spot, and this is the first time I’ve seen a shark in 18 years. I know they’re always around, and that this was not a ‘shark attack’, just a random interaction with nature.”
Alison Kock, research manager for Shark Spotters, Cape Town, said: “According to a witness report, at approximately 9am a 19-year-old boy was surfing with friends when a shark approached him while he was sitting on his board waiting for a wave. The shark, estimated to be between 3m to 4m, bit him on the left thigh.”
Kock said that based on descriptions, it was believed the shark was a great white.
“Water users are reminded that …this is the peak time of year when sharks move closer to shore to follow schools of fish and smaller sharks and rays.
“When using the ocean one needs to remain vigilant at all times.
“The risk of a shark bite remains extremely low, but to reduce the risk further, follow safety tips available on sharkspotters.org.za.”
|Posted: Wed Dec 18th, 2013 07:10 am||
|I know that are very very well and all I can say I will not venture behind the breakers there anywhere along that side of the coast. There are some monsters lurking there.
|Posted: Wed Dec 18th, 2013 07:22 am||
|I couldnt agree more, Ive done a few cage dives around the corner and there are submarines roaming those waters.
|Posted: Wed Dec 18th, 2013 09:31 am||
The young Cape Town surfer bitten by a shark believes he was protected by an angel and is “so grateful to be alive”.
Tom Browne was speaking from his hospital bed in Hermanus on Tuesday, where he was still being monitored to ensure his leg was not infected by bacteria from the shark’s teeth.
The 19-year-old is a student at UCT, studying geomatics, the official name of land surveying.
On Monday he, two friends and a friend’s father set out for a public holiday surf at Die Plaat, just west of De Kelders on the Walker Bay coastline.
After paddling out to the backline, just before 9am, he was sitting on his board, waiting for a wave when a shark, believed to be a great white, bit his board and leg.
tom browne chomped board
The damage to Tom Brownes surfboard.
His recollection of what followed is numbed by the massive surge of adrenalin which remained with him until he was being treated at Hermanus Mediclinic.
He didn’t even feel pain.
“Throughout the whole incident, you’re so pumped with adrenalin you don’t feel anything,” he said.
“At the time, it’s like you’re living a nightmare, when you’re in the water, having that experience.
“But there were so many factors that day, that I believe He was looking over me and had an angel protecting me,” Browne said.
“I really wanted to live. Being just 19 and studying, and with my love of the outdoors… I had so much to live for. I just couldn’t go that day.”
He cited several factors which collectively allowed him to survive.
First, the shark had bitten not only his leg, but the back part of his board, including one of the fins.
“I’ve been told that that’s probably why the shark bit and then released, because it mistook my fin for a bone,” he explained.
“Then there was a wave right then, which I could catch” – which had powered him shorewards out of danger.
“Then, on the shore, normally I’m dropped off when I surf, but we had a car with us. And we’d even parked at the closest point to the beach” – which had allowed him swift access to the hospital.
He was later told by medical staff that the shark’s teeth had missed a nerve by about 1cm, and had just missed an artery.
“Even if my artery had just been nicked, it would have been game over,” he said.
“There were all these factors behind me. It was not just chance – it was a divine experience.
“I just sat in the back of the bakkie and realised ‘I’ve still got my limbs, I’m okay’.
“It has made me slightly more religious. I was wearing a cross that day, out in the water, and I felt its power that day.”
Among the worst parts was the subsequent account by his friend, Cairin Michie.
“He was facing me as we sat on our boards in the water, and he said it was the scariest moment of his life – watching his friend fighting for his life, but being helpless, not being able to do anything,” Browne said.
Browne hoped to be discharged from hospital today.
“I’ll be fine. I’m still in shock, but I was very, very lucky.
“It’s going to take me some time to get back to that spot, but you won’t keep me out of the water,” the surfer promised.
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