Rocky Bay: large shark badly mauls U.S. diver

2011-06-29 00:00

AN American scuba diver was attacked by a shark near Rocky Bay just past Amanzimtoti yesterday afternoon.

According to Netcare spokesperson Chris Botha, the victim’s leg was severed and his hands were mauled by a large shark.

“We raced down with a group of paramedics to Umkomaas. His one leg is very, very badly injured with severe bite marks. He is in a critical condition at the moment,” said Botha.

The victim is reportedly an American citizen who was doing shark research in the area.

He was airlifted by the KZN Department of Health EMRS/AMS emergency helicopter and taken to the Albert Luthuli Central Hospital in Durban.

Jeremy Cliff of the Natal Sharks Board believes the diver was attacked by large dusky shark, which are not uncommon in the area.

“It is unlikely that the sardines had any influence on the attack, since they were 45 km away from the area at the time,” said Cliff.

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development and Tourism Mike Mabuyakhulu said in a press briefing at Virginia Airport yesterday that bathers need to be extra cautious.

“Nets have been removed as a precaution to prevent predators such sharks and dolphins getting caught in the nets while feeding on the sardines,” Mabuyakhulu said 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,” he added.

Mabuyakhulu said that there has been “intensive” sardine activity between Margate and Ramsgate.

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