At Approximately 2:30pm Durban Surfer Lance Morris was attacked by either a small shark or some other form of predator fish like a Barracuda or Morey eel at North Beach. He had to have 10 stitches to repair the damage. By the size of the bite marks on his leg, Dr Mckune who was the surgeon who stitched him up estimated the attacker to be about 1-1/2m in length.
TheBOMBsurf caught up with a remarkably calm Lance as he was being sown up. While he couldn’t positively identify what the species of fish was that attacked him he was surprised at it’s aggression.
“I’d just finished a wave in the right bowl and was close inshore near the bathing area when I felt something clamp down on my leg. At first I thought it was one of my mates playing a joke on me but then I realised I was being attacked. I tried to shake it off but it clamped down harder. Eventually I got it off and and quickly got out of the water. There was a bodyboarder right next to me who was just in shock. I dunno for sure what it was but it gave me a hell of a fright!”
TheBOMBsurf mailed an image of the bite to Mark Addison from Blue Wilderness Safaris for comment on what might have caused it. Mark’s response was “the bite is NOT consistent with that of a shark, but in all likelihood was caused my a Sea Pike or Barracuda”.
Alan Connell one of SA’s leading ichthyologists (fish scientists) concurred with Mark’s opinion based on the photographic evidence.
Charl Tostee from The Surf HQ in Brickhill Road remembers a similar incident at Dairy Beach about ten years ago. “This guy got bitten and everyone thought it was a shark when in fact it turned out to be a Barracuda”.
There has been an unusually high amount of rainfall in KZN this Summer with rivers flowing fuller than usual. This translates into reduced visibility for all predators. Surfers are advised to proceed with care when choosing where and when to surf. Top of the list to avoid would be swollen river mouths on the coast at dawn or dusk. This incident also indicates that even the town beaches are not immune when the water gets dirty. Ends.
http://www.thebombsurf.com/news/492/dur ... -afternoon