Shark spotted before attack, beach closed

2011-09-28 13:42

Cape Town - A man who was attacked by a shark while swimming at Fish Hoek on Wednesday was in the water after shark spotters had closed the beach due to a shark sighting, according to the NSRI.

"City of Cape Town shark spotters had closed the beach a few times during the morning after spotting a shark, and it was closed at the time of the attack," said National Sea Rescue Institute spokesperson Craig Lambinon.

The man, 44, was swimming approximately 50 metres offshore at Clovelly corner at the far end of Fish Hoek beach when he was bitten "numerous times".

Although the species of shark has not yet been identified, Lambinon said witnesses indicated it was a white shark.

His right leg was amputated above the knee, and he had a partial amputation of the left foot.

He was stabilised on the beach before being airlifted to hospital.

Lambinon denied rumours that shark sirens could not be sounded due to the widespread power outage experienced in Cape Town on Wednesday morning, saying that the sirens are battery operated.

People have been urged to exercise caution and not go into the water.

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  • Buic Unix - 2011-09-28 13:46

    eishh sorry mate!!

      sganja - 2011-09-28 13:51


      McDaNife - 2011-09-28 14:09

      Here again invading another territory and paying the price. Get well soon though

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-09-28 15:32

      @macdaknife: I have literally grown up in the ocean my friend, as have many other Capetonians (and Durbanites, East Londoners etc.) The key word: RESPECT. Respect for the oceans, and respect for all the magnificent creatures that inhabit them. As an 8 year old brat I had already been educated in the dangers, risks and perils involved in wanting to be in the water 24/7. If you respect the environment you are entering, you are less likely to come to any harm (sharks, currents etc. This chap did not respect the ocean, as he IGNORED the warnings, and on top of that swam 50m out? Sad, but ignorant at the same time (or stubborn). That said, I would happily die on my board at the jaws of a great white before I was shot in the face by a hi-jacker at a robot in the concrete jungle.....

  • ProsAndCons - 2011-09-28 13:46

    Sharks IN the water, me on TOP of water. As nature thus intended. Want to get wet? Swimming pool! Hope dude recovers well though.

      Mister - 2011-09-28 14:05

      As sad as the story is and I really do feel for the man, I have to agree with you ProsAndCons Swim in a Pool rather, Shark free zone.

      G.du Plessis - 2011-09-28 14:09

      There are hardly any shark attacks if your consider the number who bathe. You can swim in the sea where there are spotters, but don't ignore an alarm and swim 50 metres out (that's far!). Hope he recovers soon.

  • antiflag - 2011-09-28 13:47

    Unfortunately with baiting the water for cage diving this is becoming a real big problem for cape town. I feel for the guy, but we do take a risk going into the sharks home every time we go swimming/surfing... their home we are visitors. We become a something interesting to the sharks and they take a nibble or two to see what we are...

      Pickle - 2011-09-28 13:51

      I'm sorry.. but i do not agree with you at all. The dude went swimming in a closed beach after they spotted a shark. sorry but he is the one at fault here... also if it was not for shark cage diving we would never know what we know today about sharks and their mannerisms, there is still a lot we don't know about sharks, and by the way.... the sea is their territory not ours. we take the risk of getting attacked when we get in that water.

      Simon du Toit - 2011-09-28 13:51

      this is why i have such an issue with bating and cage diving,from the sharks point of view people are repeatedly associating humans in the water with food. I strongly feel this should be banned.

      DW - 2011-09-28 13:54

      antiflag, whilst I dont support cage diving, I doubt that this is the cause of the attacks. These sharks were endangered and have been a protected species for 20 odd years now. Their numbers have had a chance to recover and they are also now able to grow to maturity instead of being slaughtered. There are simply more sharks around and yes, then they take a nibble or two to see what we are (Unfortunately a nibble from a large shark will tend to have the consequences of this nature). We share this planet with other animals and should treat them with respect in their territory. A shark warning was out and the swimmer should not have been in the water.

      BAH - 2011-09-28 14:02

      Wow, I did not know they bait for sharks using swimmers!? Do they bait by throwing in "dummy" swimmers with flailing arms clad in wet suits? I thought they used bloody pieces of meat? Can you please explain further..... BTW Strongs to the man bitten. Horrible luck, that. We all take our chances in life and sometimes come up short. May your mental recovery be as speedy as your physical recovery.

      James - 2011-09-28 14:07

      "antiflag" ... your an ASS .... you have NO idea what you are talking about the sharks have always been there, it's not because of baiting and crap .......

      Jay - 2011-09-28 14:16

      Wow...calling someone an ass....of course sharks will start to associate humans with food when they bait them with chum, fish entrails etc. Just the way your goldfish (with a supposed 30 second memory or something) learn to associate your approaching hand with food. Ever been to a pet shop and looked into a koi tank ? As soon as the koi sees you they will start surfacing and opening their mouths expecting to be fed. No association there, then ? Hell, even pidgeons with their bird sized brains learn to associate people with food. So cage diving is responsible for some good research, but at what price ?

      JDW - 2011-09-28 14:23

      As sad as this may be Shark attacks are very rare, if you swim in the sea or surf you know you run that risk, if you hike in a game reserve you know you stand the chance of being attacked by a wild animal. Every person using the sea is aware of this risk it is still safer to swim in the ocean than to drive home from work today. Also Cage diving is done at Gansbaai side, there is NO link between Cage diving and Shark attacks.

      Gonzo123 - 2011-09-28 14:36

      And I suppose the fact that we have a huge supply of what just so happens to be a huge part of their diet ... ie SEALS who even have an "island" named after them has absolutely nothing to do with it?? THAT is what actually keeps them constantly swimming around our shores and that is their main "attraction". It is THEIR territory and we are the one's trespassing!

      Fred - 2011-09-28 14:37

      You're comment about the cage diving has never been proven, there were shark attacks along the Cape coast long before cage diving started.

      @ - 2011-09-28 15:00

      I've done the shark cage diving... and when you see just how many sharks there are in false bay you realise that if the sharks had any learned behaviour... sharks would be attacking everyone and anyone who swims anywhere in false bay.. They chum at the island... Surely then... if chumming attracts the sharks... the sharks should all be attracted to the island and away from fish hoek monwabisi strand etc... also... if chumming did have an effect... surely more attacks would happen at strandfontein which is way closer...

      Jay - 2011-09-28 15:01

      It has not been proven that cage diving causes shark attacks, yet it has also not been proven otherwise. And usually the leading researchers who say cage diving does not cause attacks are the diving operators themselves, the ones making the money ! Before cage diving started unprovoked attacks happened on both sides - indian and atlantic, yet nowadays all (99%) unprovoked attacks happen on the indian side. This can be coincidence, of course, but is still some food for thought. And what about sharks following chum boats to shore ? I might be wrong when I say cage diving increase attacks, I'm not an expert. But neither are any of you saying it doesn't.

  • ANC Comrade - 2011-09-28 13:47

    If it is a Great White then someone is probably going to say the shark was racist!

      farmworker - 2011-09-28 13:53

      That can't be racist because it would be White on White

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-09-28 13:54

      ACH! It's an Imperialist Conspiracy! These "White" sharks are stealing our water!

      Cosatuking - 2011-09-28 13:56

      Eish that is a blow to black intelligence

      Taboo - 2011-09-28 14:06

      Farmworker - who said that this person was white anyway? You also get coloureds that live there.

  • Leanne - 2011-09-28 13:47

    I still dont understand why people are shocked when attacked by wild animals while in their territory?! If no one else is in the water, its a clear sign to stay the hell out

      4evaANC - 2011-09-28 14:02

      so your never shocked when a relative dies, in their bed, while sleeping?

      Sunett - 2011-09-28 14:14

      @4evaANC - huh? I'm battling to see how a relative dying in their bed while sleeping has got anything to do with a shark attacking someone in the ocean...?

      Crunchiessss - 2011-09-28 14:17

      Missing the point a little 4evaANC. But thats ok I don't think you will be losing sleep over it.

      Cosatuking - 2011-09-28 14:18

      Leanne, what if a dog bites you in the street?

      4evaANC - 2011-09-28 14:22

      @Sunett thought you might, don't worry, I'm not here to judge based on IQ. People die most often in their beds while sleeping and yet people are shocked. About 4 people die a year by shark attacks, so its uncommon and something to be shocked about. Not when you die in your bed. So we should actually all stay out of our beds according to Leanne's logic.

      Cosatuking - 2011-09-28 15:05

      @4evaANC You make a very valid point there comrade

  • Lesley Lilley - 2011-09-28 13:49

    Why on earth would you choose to swim at that end of Fish Hoek beach, especially after a shark warning??

      HappyGoLucky - 2011-09-28 14:20

      Its not actually a bad spot. I sometime go surf there in the corner, there is a nice little wedge break there (when there is waves along that stretch). It gets deep very quickly there, and you dont have to be far out not to be able to touch the ground. I only know of the one (difficult to see) flag in Clovelly, and the shark spotter sits up against the wall. If anything, i would ask the shark spotter why he didn't try to yell at the guy and warn him...if he did, then that guy got what he was asking for.

      Tolerant - 2011-09-28 14:29

      Yes we can (be stupid at times).

      Lesley Lilley - 2011-09-28 14:57

      This end of the beach is generally better for surfers and most people normally choose to swim at the other end. Growing up in FH, most people found the Clovelly end a little unsafe. Maybe he was a tourist. And if he chose to ignore a warning, well then.... it's his own fault.

      HappyGoLucky - 2011-09-28 15:11

      yeah, i think its perhaps got a bit of a reputation because with the tide and currents, there are usually a lot of dead seals (with bite marks) etc that wash up there. Its not going to stop me from surfing that spot though :)

  • Nkosinathi - 2011-09-28 13:49

    So I can`t go to the beach on weekend? mxm.

      ChrisG - 2011-09-28 13:53

      With a comment like that I think you should definitely go for a swim at Fish Hoek on the weekend.

      Cosatuking - 2011-09-28 13:59

      And yet another...good grief

      dot - 2011-09-28 14:04

      Nkosinathi please go, be my guest

      Lizzee - 2011-09-28 14:10

      People... I think Nkosinathi said this tongue in cheek.....

      Enigma - 2011-09-28 14:39

      No you can't but the river is still available as well as the dam or the hose pipe since you don't pay any water rates....ha ha ha

  • Winsome - 2011-09-28 13:50

    Poor guy - he thought he would take a chance. He will be crippled now - eish - not worth it. Just hope the whole world doesnt now go shark hunting - he was warned and he was in the shark's domain.

  • farmworker - 2011-09-28 13:51

    Thus why I don't go as far as 10 meters.There are plenty of Man eating species in there.

      Shistirrer - 2011-09-28 13:57

      People have been bitten by sharks in water as shallow as 20cm. Don't run your bathwater too deep.

      barry.mcbride - 2011-09-28 14:58

      @Shistirrer: WTF, such species are definitely not found in 20cm of water!

      Shistirrer - 2011-09-28 15:20

      Barry, believe it! Especially bull sharks come into extremely shallow waters. Look at the following link:

  • SlapTjip - 2011-09-28 13:51

    I have absolutely no sympathy with this man. The beach was closed for a reason. Why did he choose to ignore the beach ban? Was he seeking attention? We must stop feeling sorry for those who do not feel sorry or care for themself. This was no accident, this was negligence from his side. This is nothing different from getting yourself killed in a car accident whilst been seriously intoxicated.

      Shistirrer - 2011-09-28 13:59


      Crunchiessss - 2011-09-28 14:22

      It could have been a suicide attempt? If it was me I would have settled for a beating no dought.

      Together - 2011-09-28 14:26

      maybe he didn't see the warning, maybe he was already in the water for a while - maybe he didn't realise he'd gone that far out - maybe, maybe. What we are SURE of, however, is just how much empathy you have with someone who is going to be in a wheel chair for a while, if he makes it.

  • Megan - 2011-09-28 14:01

    I am sorry that he has been critically hurt, but how stupid can you be? To go swimming when there is a shark warning out is plain stupidity.Just hope the poor shark doesnt cop it now for doing what it does naturally

  • RandomHeroBaby - 2011-09-28 14:04

    Darwin award

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-09-28 14:12

      Nah, he survived, so he's prob in the runner-up category.

  • CVZ - 2011-09-28 14:10

    This idiot deserves a Darwin Award.

  • smahlaba - 2011-09-28 14:11

    Eish. Sorry boet. I'll stick to swimming pools like always.

  • pommie-abroad - 2011-09-28 14:13

    I don't get out of my car in Kruger park, why go in the water after a shark sighting?? Adrenalin junkie or idiot??? He can make all the excuses he wants, but he doesn't have a leg to stand on!!

      diver - 2011-09-28 14:41

      Thats like saying getting knocked over by a car while crossing the road is deserved. Because you know there are cars in the road! Its time the numbers were thinned out a little or commercial quota's reduced. Over fishing by commercials and shark species protected can only result in sharks looking for snacks in another form? Best wishes for a speedy recovery. Those of us who enjoy using the ocean usually understand the risks involved and enjoy it regardless.

  • Noem_My_Baas - 2011-09-28 14:15

    As jy dom is moet jy suffer

  • braddo.ct - 2011-09-28 14:16

    There are sharks. We see them in the water every day. Most times they are just lazily swimming out in the bay, but sometimes they venture closer to the shoreline. It must be deeper toward Clovelly beach because the sharks (and whales) seem to come quite close there. Chumming and shark-cage diving is the first thing people blame, but I seriously doubt this activity, up in Gansbaai, can be the cause for todays attack. You thrash about in the water, sharks come to look. Thats it.

  • KomboKitten - 2011-09-28 14:17

    if it was closed how did someone get in?

      Shistirrer - 2011-09-28 14:19

      Someone left the gate to the sea open.

      bonny - 2011-09-28 14:57

      Probably Bakkies who was busy with his laps..

  • whysoserious - 2011-09-28 14:19

    If i wanted to commit suicide Ill do that! What a cool death! Sorry to hear bout the guys injuries, hope he recovers soon!

  • Zaghra - 2011-09-28 14:23

    How sad, shame!!

  • Hubbles - 2011-09-28 14:26

    Pity Malema cant swim otherwise may be an idea to charter a jet to let him swim in the Cape's finest.

      Playnice - 2011-09-28 14:31

      Bad idea... we dont want the Cape beaches poluted

      Inky1980 - 2011-09-28 14:48

      I doubt Malema can even blow up his water wings on his own

  • clifford.binedell - 2011-09-28 14:26

    I love this stupid "invading territory" comment, get rid of this shark, or reintroduce lions and other original big game that roamed freely and happily throughout the Peninsula in the early days,these animals were shot on sight, I would love to see these “Save the Shark” dudes when a lion eats one of their kids or family members saying "Save The Lions Freedom of the Peninsula" then

      Arthi - 2011-09-28 14:31

      Wow...people like you do exist...Here take this "I am Stupid" sign and wear it around your neck. Humans do not own the world! We act like we do and because of that, we are destroying it every second of the day. I vote for you to go into the water 100m and try to explain your dominance to the shark about to rip you apart. I would love to witness that. That would be one less oxygen steal person in the world.

  • Arthi - 2011-09-28 14:26

    Cannot believe someone would go into the water after the beach was closed! No one in their right mind would do that. Clearly this guys wasnt. 50m in! The guys was definitely asking for it. Now he has to pay the price for his stupidity. Another thing is that he is literally opening the doors for more attacks. The more dumb@ss people throw themselves at the sharks the more the sharks see humans as being an easy target. Get your act together people. The sea is for Sharks and all other magnificent Sea creatures. Stay in your pools and bathtub for goodness sake and save us the trouble of collecting pieces of your washed up on the beach. Its disturbing!

  • Analyst - 2011-09-28 14:29

    Sirens my ass, nobody listens to sirens, they should have played the Jaws theme instead...

      Inky1980 - 2011-09-28 14:51

      hahahahaha! daaaaahhhhhh dum......daaaaaaaahhhhhh..... dhum dhum dhum dhum dhum dhum dhum *cue trumpet* dhum dhum dhum dhum dhum

  • tribal - 2011-09-28 14:30

    They Close a Beach for a Reason not for fun. Sorry Bud, But People must Learn and the hard way if nessesary.

  • BAAAA - 2011-09-28 14:31

    I feel sorry for this guy but apart from the shark warning being in place already in place he was also swimming the area where an open river was flowing into the water which is a big no no! tha last attack at Muizenberg was also in front of the river mouth!!!

  • Harold - 2011-09-28 14:32

    Natural selection.

      DarwinEvolution - 2011-09-28 14:55

      Thank you Harlod...Nature will in itself take out the weakest or in this case the dumbest.

  • Kevin - 2011-09-28 14:32

    Eeeeeish, how many hours of surfing did my mates and I do in the corner at Clovelly. Many times as the sun was setting. Pretty sad bud when we venture in to the sea we venture in to an environment where anything can happen.

  • Yolanda Coetzee - 2011-09-28 14:38

    This country is a mess because people have no respect for authority and they don't obey the small rules -

  • B_M_S - 2011-09-28 14:38

    @ antiflag: you are 100% correct. For the other people who say the guy knew about the danger even after the beech was closed. This guy was swimming 50+ meters from the shore in the ocean. How was he suppose to know the beech was closed. We, the humans, are invading into the territory of wild animals and by feeding them to look at them through a cage, is like teasing them. Everything is to commercialized these days. And do not blame somebody for this attack....

  • Sarie - 2011-09-28 14:45

    Another candidate for the Darwin awards?

  • Scarlett82 - 2011-09-28 14:49

    Sorry Dude but the warning signs were there ...... the shark didnt come out on land, you went into his Territory

  • Casshy - 2011-09-28 14:56

    obedience and listening both are better than regret.

      sniperman - 2011-09-28 15:08

      Tell the ANC that before it's to late for them

  • ryan.debique - 2011-09-28 14:57

    damn clever shark to wait for the power outage..

  • WatBang! - 2011-09-28 14:57

    At George:u could at least have some compassion!!!!!!

  • sniperman - 2011-09-28 15:04

    More proof that it's not only on the rugby field! The Sharks definitely have Wee Pee's number.

  • Malcop - 2011-09-28 15:05

    I wonder if he had been drinking alchol prior to the incident. Maybe he was legless before the attack.

  • murdie99 - 2011-09-28 15:05

    As jy dom will wees moet jy K&&%% as they say!! I feel for him but not the brightest thing to have done, unless he was unaware the flag was up, which is unlikely, but from experience people frequently ignore the warnings, flags and sirens

  • willman - 2011-09-28 15:06

    the way i see it, humans are on top of the food chain, we should ensure human safety at all time. more preventitive measures should be put in place to keep humans safe when in the sea. As in the AUS the shark should be hunted down and culled, if it is a durect threat to humans, as we do when a dog get ethunaised for been agressive towards humans, someone tell what is the differance?

      Arthi - 2011-09-28 15:20

      You should get culled

      Gonzo123 - 2011-09-28 15:27

      Umm dunno "willman" but MAYBE the difference "could" be that the Great White is on the verge of becoming EXTINCT (unlike dogs) and MAYBE sharks contribute an important factor in the marine food chain (unlike dogs) ... are you starting to see a difference here???

  • Danou van Rensburg - 2011-09-28 15:06

    Feeling so sorry for this pooor person!

  • scruffyc - 2011-09-28 15:07

    We all can speculate as much as we want to.facts are we can't know for sure what happened out there today. Why are there statements flying around - claiming that the sirens were in fact out due to power outage? We can see that there are more and more shark activity around the coast these days. It could be due to lack of food (which could be the end result of industries stealing from nature) it could be cage diving (which i cant believe in Fish Hoek) All that we know is that mother nature is not happy with us.And people - whether they are led by stupidity, freak accidents or the fault of others - are paying the price

  • grimbie1 - 2011-09-28 15:11

    Shows the intellect of the country.. what a disgrace.. a shark attacks a man.. and you find the racism involved.. such a pitty

  • S - 2011-09-28 15:17

    If you don't want to listen then you must be bitten. But it is still bad that his leg got amputated, but at least he is alive.

  • Cronje - 2011-09-28 15:18

    I dont swim in the sea. Keep checking if both my legs r still there and thats just not relaxing. Pool yeah. Or cement dam on the farm. Sorry for the guy though.

  • Ingie - 2011-09-28 15:21

    More die on the road daily as opposed to the shark attacks. shame so sorry about the news though

  • Cronje - 2011-09-28 15:21

    @ANC Comrade: Hahahaahaaa. Youre so very sharp dude.

  • Cameron Benjamin - 2011-09-28 15:23 great white indeed

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