Surfer bitten by shark at Plettenberg Bay

30 April 2017 - 12:43
By Herald Reporter
Members of the National Sea Rescue Institute in action. File Photo.
Image: Flickr/NSRI Members of the National Sea Rescue Institute in action. File Photo.

A teenage surfer saw a fin approaching and then felt a bump as a shark bit into his leg in Plettenberg Bay.

The surfer‚ from Port Elizabeth‚ sustained lacerations to his right calf at The Waves at Keurbooms just after 5pm on Saturday.

The incident followed a shark alert that was issued by the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) on Friday‚ warning beachgoers that sharks had been spotted along the Garden Route.

  • Shark alert on the Garden Route for holiday weekendGarden Route holidaymakers have been warned to beware of sharks over the long weekend. 

NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon said a rescue crew responded. “On arrival … a 14-year-old Port Elizabeth male teenager was found already on the beach with bite marks and bite lacerations to his right calf sustained from a shark bite while surfing‚” he said.

“He was treated by NSRI medics and by paramedics on the scene … before being transported to hospital by ambulance in a stable condition where he will receive sutures.”

Lambinon said the teenager‚ who was hospitalised overnight as a precaution‚ was with two other surfers at the time.

“At the back-line he turned to catch a wave when he saw a fin approaching towards him‚ he felt a bump and he felt a bite on his right calf‚” he said. “He caught a wave to the beach where he was met by his dad‚ who had witnessed the incident‚ and by bystanders who rendered assistance while raising the alarm.

“Shark researchers will investigate to determine the species and size of the shark but initial indications lean towards the bite being made by a [great] white shark of 2m but this has not been confirmed.”

The NSRI issued a shark alert along the southern Cape coastline between Nature’s Valley and Mossel Bay‚ and in particular around the Plettenberg Bay inshore area‚ due to a high number of shark sightings.

An increase in shark activity at this time of the year is common as they take advantage of naturally occurring prey such as seals and fish close inshore.