BEACHGOERS watched in horror yesterday as a lifeguard at the Wild Coast was pulled off his paddling board by a shark and mauled to death.**
Another shark death horror
BEACHGOERS watched in horror yesterday as a lifeguard at the Wild Coast was pulled off his paddling board by a shark and mauled to death.
As the 22-year-old disappeared beneath the water of Port St Johns’ Second Beach, the ocean turned red .
His remains have yet to be found. The victim’s name has been withheld until officials inform his family.
He becomes the fourth person to die from the jaws of a shark at the same beach in two years.
Station commander for the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), John Costello, said the attack happened around midday.
“Witnesses I spoke to said they saw his hands in the air for a short while before his whole body disappeared under the water and a red pool of blood was seen on the surface . Only his kneeboard washed ashore,” said Costello.
He said the sea conditions were flat with a slight swell, but the water was discoloured and dirty, making conditions ideal for a shark to strike.
Costello said the shark could not be identified in yesterday’s attack because it was impossible to make an analysis without seeing the bite marks on the victim.
An eyewitness, Lindokuhle Mahanjane, 21, said there was already blood in the water when he saw a “big shark” surfacing to attack for the second time.
“After that we never saw his body again,” said Mahanjane.
Another eyewitness and fellow lifeguard, Abongile Maza, who was paddling a few metres behind the victim said it was a surprise attack that had left the surfing and lifeguard community shocked.
“I could not believe what I saw with my own eyes because it did not seem real,” said Maza yesterday.
In April the Dispatch reported on a shark attack at Second Beach which claimed the life of 16-year-old surfer Luyolo Mangele.
He was the third person from Mthumbane township in Port St Johns to be killed by a shark at Second Beach since 2007.
The first was Masiza Sibulele, who was first bitten in 2004 and narrowly escaped death, only to be attacked again, fatally this time, in 2007.
Sibulele’s body was never found and only one of his flippers was recovered. Bite marks on the flipper suggested it was a tiger shark.
Jeremy Cliff, head of the Natal Sharks Board’s Research Unit, said at the time the Umzimvubu River flowing through the town could be blamed for the spate of attacks.
He said large estuaries and river mouths contain an abundance of fish, and this attracted the likes of Zambezi sharks.
In January, another lifeguard, Sikhanyiso Bangilizwe, was killed by a Zambezi shark at Second Beach while swimming with friends.
His body was torn to pieces.
The attacks sparked a campaign to buy new state-of-the-art shark protection devices for lifeguards in Port St Johns.
The battery-powered shields are capable of preventing a shark attack at sea when worn or attached to a buoy.
According to the distributor of the products, the shields emit electronic impulses that cover an eight-metre diameter. -
By GCINA NTSALUBA — firstname.lastname@example.org