A high number of white sharks have been spotted along the Plettenberg Bay shoreline in the past few days.
Photo : A White Shark close to shore at Plettenberg Bay (during April) supplied by NSRI
And the NSRI urges the public to be cautious between Natures Valley and Mossel Bay, following an incident yesterday, 25 May 2016, at Robberg, Plettenberg Bay, when three surfers were harassed by a shark. The surfers managed to reach the beach safely.
The increase of sharks’ presence close to shore at this time of the year is part of the normal aggregation of these animals, the NSRI says, adding these sharks are taking advantage of naturally occurring prey like seals and fish close to shore..
Most of the shark sightings are close to Robberg and offer a rare opportunity for sightseers to view shark activity close in-shore. The NSRI says it is prepared to deal with any incidents and Plettenberg Bay NSRI carries emergency medical shark kits on all rescue boats and on the NSRI rescue vehicle. In addition the local NSRI medics are carrying the kits in their private vehicles to ensure the quickest response to any incident. The NSRI advises the following precautions:
- Do not swim, surf or surf-ski when birds, dolphins or seals are feeding nearby
- Do not swim, surf or surf-ski where, fishing or spear fishing is taking place
- Do not swim in deep water beyond the breakers
- Do not swim if you are bleeding
- Do not swim near river mouths
- Do not swim, surf or surf-ski at night
- Do not swim, surf or surf-ski if there has been a whale stranding nearby
- Obey beach officials and lifeguards if told to leave the water
- If a shark has recently been sighted in an area, consider using another beach for the day
- First-time visitors to beach areas should ask the local law enforcement official, lifeguards or locals about the area
- For those people kayaking or surf-skiing far out to the sea: please consider paddling in groups and staying close together (in a diamond formation)
- Consider using a personal shark shield when you go surfing or kayaking
- Pay attention to any shark signage on beaches
- Do not swim, surf or surfski alone.
In a Sea Rescue Emergency call 112 or alternatively for sea rescue emergencies in Plettenberg Bay call the NSRI Plettenberg Bay emergency number 0829905975.
(Edited by Bev Mortimer)