06/28/2011 Paolo Stanchi ( South Africa )

Shark Attack Related Incident News Archive for 2011 Shark Attacks and Related Incidents.

06/28/2011 Paolo Stanchi ( South Africa )

Postby helmi » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:48 pm

US diver mauled by shark in KZN

June 28 2011 at 06:36pm

A research diver from the United States was mauled by a shark off the Rocky Bay coast near Durban on Tuesday, Netcare 911 said.

The 22-year-old man's left leg and both hands were “badly” mauled, spokesman Chris Botha said.

The man was diving on the Aliwal shoal, watching sardines, when he was bitten by the three-metre dusky shark just after noon.

“There is always a danger that the predator will mistake a diver for part of their meal when (the shark) goes into a feeding frenzy,” Botha said.

The skipper of the boat “definitely saved the young man's life” by lifting him from the water and stemming the flow of blood.

Paramedics stabilised the injured man before he was airlifted to the Albert Luthuli Central Hospital in Durban.

He underwent surgery in the afternoon and may need further operations, Botha said.

The US embassy had been alerted to the incident and would kept updated on the man's condition, Botha said. -


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Re: 06/28/2011 Paolo Stanchi ( South Africa )

Postby helmi » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:46 am

Shark bite a 'freak accident' -*Photos*
29 June 2011 - 09:18
Author: Lauren Holley

The incident in which a shark bit a research diver on the South Coast yesterday has been described as a terrible freak accident by the company that took the man out to sea.

22-year-old Paolo Stanchi, from the US, suffered critical injuries after a three metre dusky shark bit him while he was diving at Aliwal Shoal.

The owner of Blue Wilderness Dive Expeditions, Mark Addison, says he believes the attack may have been a case of mistaken identity.

"From the debrief it seems that the shark went at his fins, which were spilt fins with black and grey contrasting stripes down the fin blade, and that certainly sounds like that contributed to a mistaken identity bite, where the shark thought perhaps it was biting into a shoal of fish," he said.

"You know this time of year dusky sharks are in from the deep water, in shore to feed on sardines, and I mean that accounts for the fact that it bit at and about the fin."

Addison says Stanchi underwent surgery last night. Reports this morning are that he's in a stable condition.

Meanwhile, the KZN Sharks Board has warned that shark nets have been removed along most of the KZN coastline to allow for the annual sardine run, so bathers need to stay out of the water during intense sardine activity.

Photos: Netcare911

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Re: 06/28/2011 Paolo Stanchi ( South Africa )

Postby alb » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:54 am

Shark Bite on KZN South Coast

The KZN South Coast diving community was devastated this morning (28 June) with the bite by a large Dusky shark on an Advanced SCUBA diver who was on a dive within the Aliwal Shoal Marine Protected Area (MPA). Although the injuries sustained by the diver were not fatal, the incident was nevertheless quite serious with the diver being evacuated by air. The diver is now in a stable condition following surgery at Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban.

Netcare911 Spokesperson Chris Botha commended the Blue Wilderness team for their exemplary handling of the situation, commenting that "this young man owes his life to the well trained Blue Wilderness staff who managed to stop the blood flow so quickly." Ryan and Clare Daly (Blue Wilderness), Peter Bauer (rescue diver) and Alistair Louw (local skipper) were all on hand to assist with the medical care that saved the diver's life, and all kept a cool head in a very stressful situation.

Speaking about the incident, Mark Addison of Blue Wilderness said that "after over 23 years in the diving industry, and 15 years in the shark diving industry, this has been the first time we have had an encounter such as this at Aliwal Shoal. Taking all that we have observed and learnt over the last two decades, there is no way that one could have known that that this individual animal would break all of the rules. However, the young diver is our main concern right now and our thoughts go out to him and his family during this difficult time. Anyone who comes into our environment is considered to be a member of our family and we are very close to the diver and deeply saddened by today's events."

The bite occurred when a large Dusky shark bit at the diver's fins in what is most likely a case of mistaken identity. The SCUBA diver was wearing split fins with black and grey stripes, and to the shark this may have looked like a small shoal of fish.

According to Addison, "having swum with sharks on thousands of occasions, I can testify that isolated freak accidents such as this rarely occur. Although there are more large Dusky sharks around than usual at the moment due to the presence of sardines, there is no reason for them to have any more interest in us than they normally do, and this was really unfortunate".

These large Dusky sharks generally live offshore, but come closer to shore during this time of the year as they follow the massive shoals of sardines that are making their way up the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal coastlines. Dusky sharks are listed on the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Red List as "near threatened" and are one of the most vulnerable of the shark species to exploitation because it reproduces so slowly and at such a late age.

The diver was part of a team of interns who have been diving with Blue Wilderness for almost a month. "The interns are well-versed with the nature of these animals, these guys are competent divers and are passionate about sharks - that's why they travelled around the globe to join us during the sardine run. They have been making a valuable contribution to furthering our understanding of these sharks at the Aliwal Shoal MPA" said Mark Addison.
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