The 28-year-old avid spearfisherman who died after he was bitten by a shark on Saturday, believed that the predator had "accidentally" grabbed his thigh.
While Warren Smart was attended to by paramedics and the National Sea Rescue Institute crew on Saturday, he told three friends, who had accompanied him on a spear-fishing dive at Cape Vidal in northern KwaZulu-Natal, that the shark had intended to grab the fish he had just shot.
Minutes later the well-known Richards Bay man, a founding member of the Zululand Spearfishing Club, died from excessive blood loss.
"Warren was removing the fish from his spear when the shark grabbed his thigh instead of the fish, which it wanted.
"He wasn't the target. Warren even said this to us," his friend Trevor Hutton said.
"He said it was an accident and that the shark may have not meant to attack him."
He said Smart lived for spearfishing and the ocean.
"He loved spearfishing. He always promoted the sport and was well liked by friends and fellow spearfishermen," Hutton said.
On the Zululand Spearfishing blog Smart described himself as: "A keen spearo from Richards Bay. Been spearfishing since 2007, so not the most experienced, but I get on the water almost every weekend. "
Experts from the Natal Sharks Board are expected to inspect Smart's injuries to determine what species the shark was.
"We will request permission from the police to view the body during postmortem. Once we have the species, we will put the information on record," Natal Sharks Board spokesman Mike Anderson-Reade said. He said shark attacks on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal were uncommon and there was no need for widespread fear. The only other fatal shark attack at Cape Vidal was in 1890. http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/articl ... ken-target