Press Release

National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI)

03. April 2018

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Stuart Obray, NSRI St Francis Bay deputy station commander, said:

NSRI, Municipal lifeguards and local authorities at St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis are urging bathers surfers, paddlers to not enter the water at local beaches following a shark incident at Cape St Francis Beach today.

Local authorities are monitoring and will advise on the status and local Municipal lifeguards are flying the No Swimming Shark Sighting flag specifically at Cape St Francis Beach.

At 15h05, Tuesday, 03 April, NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew and our local doctor were activated following reports of a local 19 year old male surfer bitten on the knee by a shark while surfing close in-shore at Cape St Francis Beach.

NSRI crew responded to the scene where the surfer was found to already be on the beach after friends and fellow surfers assisted him from the water and local Municipal lifeguards had initiated medical care treating the patient for shock and for lacerations to his left knee and below the left knee and placing the patient on a stretcher.

NSRI medics and our local doctor assisted the lifeguards treating the patient.

Private Care ambulance services were summoned and the patient has been transported to hospital in a stable condition by Private care ambulance and he is accompanied by family members.

The SA Police Services were also in attendance at the scene.

A shark bite kit stored at the beach was used to assist in the treatment of the patient.

The species of shark remains unknown and initial observations suggest that the injuries may have been caused by a relatively small shark but this cannot be confirmed at this stage.

Shark working groups will investigate.

Local authorities were appealed to investigate licensed shark fishing being conducted nearby from a fishing boat using a chumming method to determine if this activity may contribute to increased shark activity in close proximity to recreational beaches during the school vacation.

The surfers who assisted to get the teenager out of the water and the local lifeguards who immediately initiated medical treatment are commended for their swift actions.

Source: NSRI