No swimming during sardine run

2011-06-28 18:11

Durban - KwaZulu-Natal bathers need to be cautious as shark nets have been removed from most beaches due to the annual sardine run, the province's tourism MEC said in Durban on Tuesday.

This was done as a precaution to prevent predators such sharks and dolphins getting caught in the nets while feeding on the sardines, Mike Mabuyakhulu told reporters in Durban after taking a flight to see shoals of sardines.

"Currently shark safety gear has been removed between Salt Rock on the north coast and Port Edward on the south including Durban."

Bathers needed to consult with lifeguards on duty to determine if it was safe to swim.

Shark nets are removed every year during the June-July sardine run, an event which attracts sharks, dolphins, sea birds and tourists.

Mabuyakhulu said there had been "intensive" sardine activity between Margate and Ramsgate.

Paramedics said earlier that a United States scuba diver was mauled in a shark attack off the Rocky Bay coast near Durban.

"Both his hands and his left leg were badly mauled," Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha said.

The 22-year-old man was airlifted to the Albert Luthuli Central Hospital in Durban. Botha said the man was conducting scientific research when he was attacked just after noon.

It was not known if the attack was due to the nets being removed.

Mabuyakhulu said they were going to investigate the matter.

  • Anonymous Thinker - 2011-06-28 18:46

    Assholes! NOW they tell us! Idiots. Obviously have no idea how many LOCAL divers are out there. Once again it takes something to happen to a tourist before you bother informing us locals.

      Squeegee Pilot - 2011-06-28 18:52

      Anonymous nobrainer, if you were a local you would know that in June and July, if the water temp falls below 22deg, sardines will come close to the beaches and that the shark nets will be lifted - happens every year - as any local would know.

      THE.SRG - 2011-06-28 19:38

      agree with squeegee...dont get in the water if you not ready to face sharks.part of snorkelling and spear fishing.

  • maseratifitt - 2011-06-28 19:52

    Diving in a sardine shoal is like Tom Thumb hiding in the pudding.

  • Divemaster GranDad - 2011-06-29 08:15

    "It was not known if the attack was due to the nets being removed." That statement is ridiculous and obviously made by someone who knows nothing about scuba diving or the location of the nets in relation to dive reefs. There are thousands of divers in SA waters annually and there are no nets "protecting" the areas they dive. And being Rocky Bay, they may well have been diving Aliwal Shoal which is about 5km offshore, 5km from nets of any kind. The article does not say which type of shark attacked the diver, but being raggie season and the diver "conducting scientific research", he may well have provoked an attack.

  • Joy Thorpe - 2011-06-29 08:22

    They may as well leave the shark nets out of the water permanently! Swim / surf / dive at your own risk at any time. These nets are merely a deterrent and also trap innocent animals such as dolphins, whales and turtles .... the ocean is THEIR home, treat it with respect and only enter at your own risk.

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