Kogel Bay waveriders want shark spotters

2012-04-24 18:06

Cape Town - Kogel Bay surfers and bodyboarders in Cape Town have voted in favour of a shark spotting programme after a man was killed there last week, Shark Spotters said on Tuesday.

"We had a meeting last night to see if they wanted a programme there and they came back with a resounding yes," project manager Sarah Titley said.

"I will now report back to the City of Cape Town by next week about the logistic and budget requirements."

About 80 people, many Boland Surfing Association members, attended the meeting on Monday evening following the death of David Lilienfeld, 20, on Thursday.

Lilienfeld, an SA bodyboarding team member, was at a popular surfing area, Caves, in Kogel Bay with his brother around noon when a great white shark attacked him.

The shark made three passes at him and bit his right leg on the third pass. He died in the water from a loss of blood and his body washed up on the shore.

With no shark spotting programme in place, many felt it was too risky to enter the water.

Those in attendance indicated their willingness to assist such a programme, with many suggesting a levy be added onto membership fees of surfing or bodyboarding clubs.

People were also receptive to the idea of monthly debit orders to contribute to the cost.

Offers had been made to supply a hut and flag-pole for the shark spotter.

The programme already in place for six beaches was costing over a R1m a year, with funding coming largely from the city and donations.

Four permanent programmes were in operation at Muizenberg, St James/Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek and Noordhoek.

Between October and April, shark spotters operated at Clovelly and Glencairn beaches over weekends and during public and school holidays.

If the project went ahead, a permanent spotter would be placed on a mountain at Caves between 08:00 and 16:00, for a year. When the year had passed, a team would assess the necessity of having a spotter in winter.

Titley said it was made clear that it would take time to train spotters and therefore the programme could not be implemented immediately if it was approved.

In the meantime, some surfers planned to take notes on how spotters operated so they could implement a rudimentary system.

  • Farmworker - 2012-04-24 18:59

    Vacant post fellas Requirements ------------------ -A man of color(Mandatory) -Unemployed (Advantage) Other requirements ----------------- -ability to swim. -Capetonian

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-04-24 19:14

    Good. But...isn't there a sharp drop-off to deeper water here? Don't great whites use seal hunting tactics - attack from below? So what % of sharks will be visible to spotters from above?

      jbrandct - 2012-04-25 08:12

      Kogelbaai is protected from the dominant South Eastern wind by a big headland, so the water is usually very clear here. Spotting a shark should be easier here than at other spots like Muizenberg where the water is usually dirty.

  • bluzulu - 2012-04-24 19:19

    Titley here wants to spend more tax money on a hobby for a sector of the public? What next Cyclist, Skydivers maybe? It is amazing this is a current programme.

      jbrandct - 2012-04-25 08:15

      What is the problem ? This is tax money being used for the creation of JOBS, instead of the usual useless crap like betha mentioned. Besides, a lot of the money comes from donations. What have you donated recently ?

      schalk.mattheys - 2012-04-25 09:36

      you're a bit of a dimwit are'nt you blu? Kogel Bay is actually a reserve area and the location of a camp site frequented by hundreds of campers on weekends and holidays. The shark spotter would not only benefiet the surfers but also the hundreds of bathers who frequent Kogel Bay. But hey, guess you've never been there but still feel compelled to add your two cents...

      bluzulu - 2012-04-25 12:07

      You are allowed your Bias here as well , This is a Democracy. Try commenting without Insult as it adds value to the post.

      schalk.mattheys - 2012-04-25 12:42

      I try blu, really I do, its just that its so difficult when you post such a lame one about a subject you know nothing about.

  • Craig - 2012-04-24 19:31

    Solution is simple, they dont come into your pub so dont swim in the bloody water, it belongs to them!! If you do, el tougho tito........

      jbrandct - 2012-04-25 08:18

      53242394398th time this lame old pub joke is mentioned on here since the attack. Plus the 23432483984938 times we hear it every day. For the love of God, please stop.... Btw. Craig, don't ever climb in a plane again, because the sky belongs to the birds. Or don't ever drive a car again because as two legged animals we were never supposed to go that fast.

      schalk.mattheys - 2012-04-25 09:41

      Craig, remember that sentiment when anyone dear to you is swimming at any of South Africa's beautiful beaches.

  • Bryan - 2012-04-24 19:46

    Spotters is a start as it give the beach users a bit more confidence to go back in. However their role is limited for a variety of reasons. A better solution would be the use of electromagnectic shark detterents worn by users. Very little discussion on this device and some feedback on their effectiveness would be welcome.

      jbrandct - 2012-04-25 08:22

      The Shark Shields (electromagnetic deterrent sold in this country) are unfortunately still very expensive, and it only holds a two hour charge. It's effectiveness is also debatable as a scuba diver wearing one was taken by a shark.

      Bryan - 2012-04-25 09:57

      Thanks for the feedback. If the battery life is only 2 hours, then one has to wonder if the diver was in the water longer than that.

      jbrandct - 2012-04-25 10:41

      A valid point. The diving pack is actually bigger than the surfing pack, I think it holds a charge for four hours. The surfer pack is smaller because of weight/performance issues. But like you said, in warmer waters these guys easily stay out for six hours or more.

      Bryan - 2012-04-25 12:06

      I would think that those using the smaller packs would have spare fully charged batteries if the battery life is an issue. Furthermore with the early migration of humpback whales heading for our shores it now becomes even more important to give onesself a better chance out there. The addage "Fools run in where angels fear to tread" in applicable in this senario. Are there any other reasons you can think of why beach/surf users should not be using these devices?

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