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06/04/2005 Henri Murray (South Africa) ***Fatal***
Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 3:00 am
Shark attacks student
04/06/2005 22:31 - (SA)
Cape Town - A Stellenbosch student has apparently become the latest victim of a shark attack in False Bay, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said on Saturday.
Henri Murray, 22, was apparently attacked by the shark about 200 - 300m off Miller's Point near Simon's Town about 15:30.
A Metro Rescue Red Cross helicopter and an NSRI boat scrambled to conduct a search for the missing student.
A civilian catamaran craft also assisted with the search, as did the Metro Emergency Medical Services, the local SA police dive unit and other police.
"An extensive search was carried out for Henry Murray from Durbanville, who has been attacked by a suspected great white shark while spear-fishing with a friend, Piet van Niekerk, 23 from Stellenbosch, who was able to get out of the water safely," said Dr Cleeve Robertson, director of emergency medical services.
Both were students at Stellenbosch University, he said.
Rescue services reportedly found only the floatation buoy that is normally attached to the spear-gun. Police divers also found the spear-gun, a flipper, a mask, a snorkel and parts of a weight belt belonging to Murray.
Darren Zimmerman, NSRI Simon's Town station commander said: "A southerly 10-knot wind and half-metre swells and clear sea visibility assisted rescuers to achieve a thorough search of the area.
"Police divers and metro emergency medical services will resume the search on Sunday morning. NSRI Simon's Town will be on alert to assist if necessary.
"It appears that Piet van Niekerk managed to shoot the shark with his spear-gun but it has not been determined if this had any effect.
"The Simon's Town Police arranged trauma councillors to begin counselling Piet van Niekerk and family members of Henri Murray," Zimmerman said.
Edited by Ilse Arendse
Diver missing after shark attack
June 04, 2005, 19:00
A diver, who was spearfishing with a friend off Miller's Point near Simon's Town, is still missing after being attacked by a shark this afternoon.
His friend managed to shoot at the shark with his speargun, but this did not have much of an effect. The last the diver saw of his friend was in the jaws of the shark. It is unclear what type of shark it was.
Craig Lambinon, a National Sea Rescue Institute spokesperson, says rescue services were on the scene soon after the attack, but no trace of the diver has been found.
Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 3:01 am
Matie dies in shark attack
05/06/2005 22:18 - (SA)
Henri Murray, who was attacked and presumably killed by a Great White. (Die Burger)
Cape Town - A fifth-year medical student desperately fought off a Great White at Miller's Point on Saturday, twice managing to scare it away.
But the shark attacked Henri Murray, 22, for a third time, locking its powerful jaws around the young man.
Murray and Piet van Niekerk, 23, were spear-fishing when the shark attacked.
The attack took place at about 15:45, approximately 200m from shore in 6m-deep water.
Henri saw the shark and warned his friend that they should get out of the water, his father, George Murray, said on Sunday.
Van Niekerk shot the shark with his speargun, but it would not let go of Murray.
On Sunday, a severely traumatised Van Niekerk took part in the search for Henri's remains.
Henri's speargun, weight belt, diving goggles, snorkel and a flippers were found on Saturday.
The top of his red wetsuit washed ashore at Muizenberg. The keys to his car were in one of the suit's pockets.
At their Durbanville home on Sunday, Henri's parents, George and Lizette, said they accepted that it had been "his time to go".
He was the third of five sons and was described by his mother as the "pillar in the centre".
The family said their faith would see them through this difficult time.
"People often go overboard after a shark attack, but there are far more dangerous sports than water sports," his father said.
"It's safer to dive than to drive a car.
"I was always a lot more worried when Henri went rock climbing."
Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 3:02 am
By Helen Bamford and Melanie Peters
In a horrific attack off Miller's Point on Saturday a massive shark came out of the depths, seized young spearfisherman, Henri Murray, 22, of Durbanville and disappeared with him underwater.
His dive buddy, Piet van Niekerk, 23, apparently shot the creature with his speargun in a desperate attempt to drive it away but he did not see his friend again.
Both divers, who were spearfishing about 100 metres off the point in front of the Black Marlin restaurant, are believed to be students at Stellenbosch University, the victim a medical student, according to one source.
Horrified onlookers and witnesses lined the road at Miller's Point
Head of Cape Town emergency services Doctor Cleeve Robertson said Van Niekerk was extremely traumatised after the attack which happened at about 3.45pm.
"He saw his friend being hit by a very big shark and he shot it to try to chase it away before swimming for shore and running for help."
Some fishermen came to Van Niekerk's assistance and used their boat to search for Murray as well as calling the police and National Sea Rescue Institute.
Dave Estment, a member of the local boating fraternity, was sitting at the edge of the jetty looking out over the sea when the attack happened.
"It was incredibly fast. The hwo spearfishermen were about 100m from the beach. Suddenly a huge shark surged from under the water taking the one diver up to his arms in its jaws. It must have been massive to have done that.
"Then the shark and the man just vanished."
Estment said boats frantically went out to try and find Murray but it was too late. Later a helicopter helped look for him. Last night the search was called off but police said it would resume again on Sunday.
PJ Veldhuizen of the NSRI's Skymed division said they had found a speargun and a rubber swimfin about a metre below the surface as well as some fish which were on Murray's stringer [where spearfishermen hook their catch] attached to his buoy. It is believed the shark could have been attracted by the fish.
Another witness said a mask, snorkel and a weightbelt had also been found, the weightbelt so damaged it appeared as if it had been cut through by a knife.
There was no sign of Murray.
Horrified onlookers and witnesses lined the road at Miller's Point hoping for news and dispersed only when it became too dark for the helicopter to
continue the search.
Before the latest attack the Sharks Board in Durban confirmed that there had been a steady but small increase in the number of shark attacks over the past few years.
A spokesperson said there were a number of contributing factors. One was that surfing had really taken off in South Africa, with far more people in the water.
The greater the number of people in the water, and the longer they stayed in the water, the greater the likelihood of attacks, he said.
According to Sharks Board statistics, there have been over 70 attacks in Cape waters since 1990, of which eight have been fatal.
In March British tourist Chris Sullivan, 32, was attacked by a Great White shark at Noordhoek. He had to undergo four hours of surgery to his right leg and foot.
In November 2004 Tyna Webb, 77,was killed by a Great White off
Jagger Walk on the Fish Hoek coast. Only her red swimming cap was found after the attack.
In June 2004 Nkosinathi Mayaba, 21, a diver from Gansbaai, was fatally attacked off Pearly Beach on the Cape south coast.
In April 2004 surfer JP Andrews lost his lower leg to a Great White at Muizenberg.
In September 2003 a huge Great White killed bodyboarder David Bornman, 19, of Newlands at a popular surf break off Noordhoek beach.
In December 2002 diver Craig Bovim was injured in an attack by a Great White off Scarborough.
Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 3:02 am
08 June 2005
Only fond memories of shark attack victim remain
Family and friends will be sharing their memories at a memorial service on Thursday for shark attack victim Henri Murray, who was taken by a Great White near Miller's Point.
Relatives and friends will gather at the Dutch Reformed Church in Stellenbosch.
Murray's father, George Murray, said on Monday that he and his four remaining sons would each deliver a tribute to Henri during the service.
"We don't have anything to bury or cremate, so it will really just be a bunch of people who were close to Henri talking about his life, what he meant to us, and hopefully we will have some sort of closure after all this," he said.
The Murray family is originally from Vanderbijlpark in Johannesburg and on Monday they were making arrangements for the domestic worker who used to look after Henri as a child to make the trip to Cape Town.
"The woman who helped us raise Henri is not in Cape Town so we are waiting for her to arrive, as she was very attached to Henri and is really like his second mother," George Murray said.
Henri Murray was spearfishing on Saturday with best friend Piet van Niekerk when the shark took him in its jaws and disappeared.
Van Niekerk shot the shark to save his friend but his efforts were in vain.
Both Van Niekerk and Murray were fifth-year medical students at Stellenbosch University.
On Monday night Van Niekerk and some of Henri Murray's friends and housemates at the Hippokrates residence at Tygerberg Hospital had a small get-together at the residence.
The Hippokrates house father, Nelis Swart, said the Bible study group in the residence was giving Van Niekerk an opportunity to talk about his feelings in a supportive environment.
"We hope that with the help of professional counsellors, Henri's friends and especially Piet will be able to deal with what has happened," he said.