Environment: Former Shark Cedric Mkhize swims with sharks to raise awareness

2008-11-28 00:00

Former Sharks player Cedric Mkhize braved the deep ocean and swam with Tiger sharks to highlight the plight of sharks worldwide.

The brave young man, whose rugby career was ended when he was paralysed in a car accident in August 2007, free-dived with sharks at Park Rynie on the KZN south coast yesterday.

Mkhize made his Sharks debut against the Griquas in 2005. He played six games, scoring three tries. He was also a member of the squad that won the Under 21 World Cup in 2005. Cedric represented the Sharks at Super 14 level, scoring four tries, and was known on the field for his elusive sidestep.

He volunteered to do the dive as he wanted to do something to highlight the environmental issues that threaten sharks. He also attempted to set a paraplegic free-diving record.

The dive was filmed by a Wild Limited TV crew, who will air Mkhize’s shark experience in January next year.

“I was a little nervous about the dive, but soon calmed down. We travelled about four kilometres out to sea where the sharks were,” Mkhize said.

He said he saw the group of Tiger sharks and Black Tips immediately after he jumped into the water.

“There were more than 30 sharks in the water. They were so close to me. Some even came up to my face. That was amazing,” he said.

He said that he spent almost three hours watching and sometimes touching the sharks.

“I was exhausted by the end of the session, but will definitely do it again. The sharks were beautiful, they are really graceful creatures,” he said.

Look out for Mkhize on Wild Limited, hosted by Michelle Garforth on SABC 2, and on eLan Rugby Legends on DSTV.

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