Shark attack in East London South Africa
East London - A holidaymaker was attacked by a three-metre great white shark on East London's Eastern Beach on Tuesday.
David van Staden, 26, a South African working in New Zealand, who is on holiday in the Eastern Cape, was surfing with Natasha Bastenie when he was attacked, but escaped with 10 stitches to his leg.
Describing the attack, he said: "I first thought it was Natasha just fooling around, but suddenly I saw this thing swimming around me and I paddled as fast as I could to the shore."
Bastenie also hurried to the shore and it was only once they reached the shoreline that Van Staden realised the shark had bitten him. He was taken to hospital for stitches.
Marine services chief Willie Maritz said investigation and damage to Van Staden's surfboard indicated he had been attacked by a three-metre great white shark.
"The shark just pushed him to check whether he was something to eat," said Maritz, adding that this was the procedure in 90 percent of attacks.
Maritz warned surfers to be vigilant as the water was cool and clear and sharks were attracted by the presence of sardines.
Beaches from Gonubie to Fish River were closed after the attack but this didn't deter many surfers.
"We can't let nice waves like these go by without us surfing," said Wesley Moss. - Sapa