Diver tells of friend’s fatal encounter with shark

2011-05-23 00:00

A NORTH Coast spear fisherman told yesterday how he watched his friend die after he was bitten by a shark on Saturday.

Warren Smart (28), a draughtsman from Richard’s Bay, was deep-sea fishing at Cape Vidal with three of his friends early that morning.

They were diving at 11 Point in 12 metres of water and spearfishing when the incident occurred.

Andrew Mitchley (28) was with Smart when the incident happened.

He said Smart shot a couta, or king mackerel, and was trying to take it off his spear when a Zambezi shark tried to eat the fish, but missed and bit Smart instead.

After the attack Smart’s friends pulled him into the boat and raced to shore while trying to resuscitate him.

A KZN-EMRS Red Cross AMS helicopter was called, but despite their efforts, its paramedics could not resuscitate him.

Smart died on scene from excessive bleeding having suffered lacerations to his left thigh.

“I’ve known [Smart] since primary school,” said Mitchley,

“We’ve been spearfishing for about eight years now and we’ve often come across sharks swimming in the water, but they have never attacked or harmed us.

“[Smart] was a guy who liked to have fun. He enjoyed life.”

Said Maureen Zimu of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, “It seems that they were just at the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Mike Anderson-Reade, a spokesperson for the KZN Sharks Board, said that the Sharks Board has yet to investigate the bite and determine the species of the shark.

Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said an inquest docket has been opened at the Mtubatuba police station, but could provide no further details.

Earlier this month a seasoned spear fisherman, Trevor Burger (37), of Munster, was bitten on the leg by a six-foot long shark while spearfishing on the South Coast, but he survived.


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