Thursday, November 08, 2007

14 years old surfer survived Great White shark attack

A 14-year-old boy has been attacked by what is believed to be a Great White shark in the Strand, Cape Town, and is now recovering in hospital.

The National Sea Rescue Institute said today that Andrew Smith — who lives in the area — was surfing around 5.30pm on Wednesday when he felt something pulling him by the legs.

“He recognised it to be a shark estimated to be between 1.5 and 2 metres long,” said the NSRI’s spokesman Craig Lambinon.

Smith managed to free himself and swim to shore where he was treated by a local doctor and taken to hospital.

“He had puncture bite marks to both his feet,” the NSRI said.

Spokesman for the City of Cape Town’s White Shark Working Group (WSWG) Gregg Oelofse extended sympathies to Smith and wished him a speedy recovery.

He said initial investigations of the bite marks indicated that the shark which attacked the teenager was a two-metre long Great White.

All information about the attack would be sent to the Natal Sharks Board to confirm the shark’s type.

“It has been more than a year since the last shark attack in Cape Town’s waters,” said Oelofse, adding that the risk of further shark attacks was low. However, he said the Cape Town public needed to be reminded that White Sharks were present in the sea all year round and more specifically during the summer months. In summer months White Sharks are known to travel nearer the shore area to a far greater extent.

Shark spotters have been dispatched to the area and the WSWG was appealing to surfers and swimmers to exercise caution in the water.

Information and warning signs have also been put up at the beach and would remain in place for the foreseeable future, Oelofse said.


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