Body boarder dies after shark attack at Gordon’s Bay – updated 11.30 pm

A 20 year-old man died after being attacked by a  4-5 metre White shark  at Gordon’s Bay today,  according to eye witnesses.

'Caves' - Photo: NSRI

The deceased man, David Lilienfeld, had his right leg completely bitten off below the hip, while body boarding with his brother and friends. There are no  bite marks or lacerations elsewhere on Lilienfeld’s body that was recovered . Lilienfeld’s right leg has not been found.

One of the eye witnesses,  Matt Marais, a surfer,  described the attack as being something out of a ‘horror movie’.

And the Department of Environmental Affairs has for now suspended filming  of the $2-million Ocearch shark research and filming project in False Bay.

(See latest update: all the official facts:  )

(See Photos of the ‘Camps Bay Tribute to David: )

It has also now been established that Lilienfeld was a member of the Surfing South Africa Team plus SA Bodyboarding and competed in the 2011 ISA World Bodyboard Championship in the Canary Islands.

It is believed four people were in the water at the time the incident took place. Lilienfeld was rescued from the water by his brother, friends and bystanders. Eye-witnesses claim that after this incident about six sharks were counted in the area.

NSRI Gordon’s Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crew report that at 12.41 today (Thursday, 19th April) they were activated following reports of a man bitten by a shark at Dappat se Gat between Gordons Bay and Kogel Bay (also known as ‘Caves’). This is a popular surfing and body boarding spot on the False Bay coast up of Cape Town.

NSRI Gordon’s Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crew launched its sea rescue craft, the SA Police Force, the Skymed rescue helicopter and WC Government Health:EMS responded to the scene.

On arrival on-scene the body of Lilienfeld, who was from Camps Bay, was found on rocks on the shore. His body was recovered by NSRI rescue volunteers and EMS rescue personnel and was then handed over to Forensic Pathology Services.

Lilienfeld’s father arrived on-scene and police trauma counsellors are assisting the family.  Police  only released the deceased mans name once all family members were informed.

The NSRI has asked bathers to be cautious and suggested they rather stay out of the sea between Muizenberg and Fish Hoek until the incident has been thoroughly investigated. The ‘Caves’ beach was later closed by governmental authorities.

Meanwhile the filming in False Bay stopped four days ago as the research and film crew had moved to Struisbaai to continue the project there, it was reported. The Ocearch project, headed by American Chris Fischer, the producer of the dramatised Shark Men series on the National Geographic Channel, was also reported to have conducted its operations around Seal Island up to 15 April before moving to Struisbaai.

National Geographic had not renewed Fischer’s contract this year so he is paying for the filming and research himself.

The Department of Environmental Affairs had granted the permit to Fishcer  in the interests of research but panic from the public since the shark attack has led to the current suspension of filming and research operations.

The project initially attracted opposition from two shark cage diving operators and an author. Since the attack some people have blamed chumming activities from the research crew as well as chumming activities from the complainants themselves, the cage divers.

Latest Update:

See another shark attack at Clovelly last year when a man’s leg was also bitten off:

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