Shark attack: Samaritans tell of terror

2011-09-28 23:18
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Fish Hoek shark attack

A swimmer who was attacked by a shark at Fish Hoek was in the water after shark spotters had closed the beach due to a shark sighting. Send your pics to photos@news24.com

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Cape Town - Two men in their sixties who rescued a shark victim at Fish Hoek on Wednesday, told how they braved the blood-clouded water to bring him to safety.

Douglas Drysdale, 61, from Glencairn Heights, and Hugh Till, 66, from Fish Hoek were on their way home from Pollsmoor Prison, where they are voluntary spiritual guidance counsellors.

The two men, who were in one car, normally look out for whales as they round Clovelly Corner, said the NSRI's Craig Lambinon.

On Wednesday they saw a man, later identified as Michael Cohen, 43, swimming about 25m out to sea in the direction of Fish Hoek.

Then there was a dark shape, heading directly at him.

As the dark shape grew closer to the swimmer the two men realised it was a shark.

Drysdale and Till tried to warn the man, but they were too late, said Lambinon. He'd already been bitten by the shark and was struggling in the water, blood gushing from the wounds..

Human chain

Lambinon says the men kicked off their shoes and waded through the surf to reach the injured swimmer. Douglas had called the emergency services before plunging into the water.

When they reached the swimmer, Hugh grabbed him by the hand while Douglas pulled Hugh, dragging them both to shore.

Bystanders then started screaming at the men that the shark was now headed towards them.

It was about 10m away. Their luck held when a seal appeared and swam between the men and the shark.

As the men reached the beach one of the shark spotters immediately tied his belt around the stump of Cohen's severed right leg as a tourniquet.

The two men kept reassuring the victim as he waited for paramedics to arrive.

Read more on:    nsri  |  cape town  |  shark attacks
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