Survivor drove off shark with a flipper

2009-12-29 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — It will be a long time before he dares to go back in the sea, Peter Fraser (27) said yesterday of the shark attack he survived in southern Mozambique last week.

Fraser, who is from Rustenberg, was speaking on his arrival at O.R. Tambo airport yesterday after he was discharged from hospital in Richards Bay.

He said he survived the attack by a Zambezi shark, in calm water at Ponta d’Ouro, by hitting the creature with a flipper.

“I don’t think I am unlucky that I was attacked so much as lucky to have survived,” he said.

He did not (as reported by Sapa on Sunday) lose any limbs in the attack, but doctors had to close a wound more than 20 cm long on his back. The shark also bit a chunk of flesh from his right shoulder, and bit his right upper and forearm, his chest and his right hand.

“During the attack I felt nothing. It wasn’t sore. Only when I got out of the water and saw the blood did I realise how serious it was,” he said.

The attack lasted only seconds. “I first felt the thing bump my legs, but I couldn’t see anything in the dark water. Only later, when I hit its head away, I realised it was a shark.”

He estimated the shark was about two metres long.

“One always hears what you should do during an attack, but in the heat of the moment, I couldn’t really think of anything. I just wanted to get away.”

Fraser said he doesn’t think the attack could have been prevented. “We weren’t in deep; the water was about shoulder height. It was just a case of, we were in their [the sharks’] world, not them in ours.”

Fraser’s girlfriend, Nicolene Latsky (27), who witnessed the attack, said he had lost a lot of blood by the time he got out of the water.

Her father, Kobus Latsky, loaded Fraser on his bakkie and raced him to a first-aid post. From there, Fraser was airlifted by helicopter to Manguzi at Kosi Bay in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

“They couldn’t treat him there, so he was flown to Empangeni hospital, where they operated for four-and-a-half hours to close the wounds,” she said.

The next day, Fraser was transferred to a hospital in Richards Bay to recover.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.