No swimming during sardine run
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.