Shark attack: Spear fisherman bitten on hand and foot at Port St Johns

A spear fisherman and tour operator in Port St Johns was bitten on his hand and foot by a 4 meter white shark this weekend.

The incident happened on 2 May, when 29 year-old Mathieu Dasnois, originally from Cape Town, was diving at a 20 meter depth offshore. He had gone out in a boat belonging to Rob Nettleton, an NSRI volunteer.

Port St Johns. Photo NSRI

 Port St Johns . Photo: NSRI

The NSRI says Nettleton took a party of sightseers out on his private boat offshore at this Eastern Cape village in South Africa. The trip was arranged by Dasnois.

At 1. 30 pm skipper Nettleton agreed that Mathieu could take a quick dip to test his new equipment at about a 4 meter depth.

Once in the water Mathieu moved  to deeper waters.  He dived, surfaced and dived a second time when the dorsal fin of a 3.5 to 4 meter White Shark was seen approaching.

The shark grabbed Mathieu’s hands when he tried to fend it off . The shark then appeared to pass by Mathieu.

The boat immediately went to Mathieu’s aid but on reaching him, the shark breached from under Mathieu pulling him away from the boat with his foot in its mouth. 

Mathieu managed to get his foot free but the shark breached again. 

Fortunately, he boat foiled the shark’s efforts and people on board the boat puledl Mathieu into the boat. 

Emergency medical treatment began immediately since Nettleton carries extensive medical supplies and equipment on board. Mathieu was brought ashore where EC Government Health EMS were on hand to assist. Paramedics treated Mathieu’s injuries and transported him to hospital in a stable condition.

After an operation, Mathieu was in high spirits and on the road to recovery, suffering minor lacerations to his hands and right foot.

Last year a bather was taken away by a shark at Second Beach at Port St Johns and that was the eighth shark attack at this beach in five years.

To report a sea rescue phone 112 from a cell phone.


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