Teen surfer loses leg in Buffels Bay shark attack

Cape Town - A 19-year-old surfer lost his leg in a shark attack at Buffels Bay on Saturday afternoon.

National Sea Rescue Insistute (NSRI) Knysna deputy station commander Declan Nurse in a statement said Caleb Swanepoel from Prins Albert was rescued from the water by fellow surfers at about 14:40.

"A local doctor, Dr Dee Richmond, who happened to be on the scene at the time of the incident with her husband, initiated emergency medical treatment to Swanepoel, who is a student at the University of Cape Town,” he said.

Swanepoel suffered complete amputation of his right leg above the knee and lacerations to his left leg.

"On arrival on the scene, the NSRI medical team continued medical treatment to the patient who was conscious and in a serious but stable condition.

“He was loaded onto a surf board and carried to an awaiting ER24 ambulance. Paramedics assisted the NSRI doctor with emergency medical treatment to further stabilise the patient,” Nurse said.

The surfer, who was on holiday with his family, was airlifted to the George Medi-Clinic by helicopter for further treatment.

"With two shark encounters in two days along the Southern Cape coast, yesterday in Plettenberg Bay and today at Buffalo Bay, the NSRI are urging bathers and surfers to be cautious and to make an informed decision on whether or not to enter the water, although it is advised not to enter until municipal authorities advise further.”

The bite marks will be investigated, but it is suspected that Swanepoel was bitten by a Great White shark, Nurse said.

The incident comes 24 hours after a surfer was bitten by a shark while surfing off Look Out Beach in Plettenberg Bay in the Western Cape late Friday afternoon.

The 23-year-old survived the incident, and was taken to hospital after suffering lacerations and bite marks on the right side of his body, his ribs, his buttocks and on his leg.

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