A 14 year-old Port Elizabeth was bitten by a shark while surfing at the popular Waves surf spot in Keurbooms, Plettenberg Bay beach today, 29 April.
The teen, who has suffered bite marks and lacerations to his right calf from what is believed to have been a white shark, and who is recovering hospital, was on his surf-board at Keurbooms, along with two other surfers this evening.
At the back-line the teen tried turned to catch a wave when he saw a fin approaching towards him. He felt a bump and then a bite on his right calf.
He managed to catch a wave to the beach where he was met by his dad, who had witnessed the incident. Bystanders rendered assistance while raising the alarm.
NSRI Plettenberg Bay volunteer duty crew were activated at 5.07 pm this evening following reports of a persioon bitten by a shark at The Waves. The rescue crew responded to the scene, the AMS/EMS Skymed rescue helicopter was placed on alert, Med-Life ambulance services responded and the sea rescue craft Free Runner, Airlink Rescuer and Leonard Smith were launched.
The teen was treated by NSRI medics and by paramedics on the scene for his lacerations and bite marks, before being transported to hospital by ambulance in a stable condition. He will receive sutures and will be kept in hospital overnight as a normal precaution.
Shark researchers will investigate to determine the species and size of the shark but initial indications are that the bite was made by a White Shark of approximately 2 meters length, though this has not been confirmed.
Shark Alert! Be careful when swimming in the sea in Southern Cape
In a press release , the NSRI has cautioned anyone swimming, paddling or surfing in the sea in the Southern Cape to be careful, following an increased number of sightings of sharks close in-shore.
There were a number of shark sightings in the Plettenberg Bay area yesterday, 28 April, but this time of the year it is normal for sharks to come close in-shore, the NSRI said.
The NSRI urges people venturing into the sea along the Southern Cape coastline particularly the Garden Route between Natures Valley and Mossel Bay, and in particular around the Plettenberg Bay in-shore area. “Sharks are aggregating in this area at this time, as they have done in previous years, to take advantage of naturally occurring prey like seals and fish close in shore,” the NSRI says, in its press release. “In particular a large amount of shark sightings have been recorded close in shore along the Plettenberg Bay coastline.
“Most of these shark sightings are in the vicinity of Robberg and this is a natural phenomenon. With the high number of sightings reported daily it offers a rare opportunity for sightseers to view shark activity close in shore.
The NSRI and the Emergency Services are well prepared to deal with any incidents and NSRI carry emergency medical shark kits on rescue boats and on NSRI rescue vehicles and NSRI medics carry emergency medical shark kits in private vehicles in an effort to ensure the quickest response to any incident.
For safety the public are advised:
• 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 along the Plettenberg Bay coastline call the NSRI Plettenberg bay emergency number 0829905975.
The National Emergency number is 112, dialled from a cell phone