Eish, yet another shark attack at Port St John's. Sunday saw a 25 year old swimmer get attacked by a suspected Zambezi in waist deep water at 2nd beach, Port St John's. This notorious 900m strip of beach has the infamous reputation of being the shark attack capital of the world, with 7 fatal attacks.
The man was pulled from the surf, and a doctor was on the scene immediately, but he succumbed to blood loss. Our condolences to his family. Ironically yesterday's death is exactly a year to the day from the last fatal attack at the beach. This time last year a lightie who'd made the Border surf team was attacked and died from his injuries.
Despite shark attacks being far rarer than things like drowning (22 people drowned in the first week of January 2012 in South Africa) or car accidents (on average 39 people died each day on our roads over the holidays), it's still something that freaks us out pretty bad - given we enter the proverbial food chain every time we surf. (THnaks to
Nonetheless, we have to remember we aren't on the menu for these guys 99.9% of the time. The majority of Great White "attacks" are actually investigative encounters (which unfortunately do often tend to turn out bad for the victim due to blood loss), or in the case of the Zambo's - often a case of mistaken identity - peeps swimming in murky water near river mouths which is prime feeding territory for these sharks.
Whilst I appreciate that the ocean is the sharks territory, I also think we're entitled to use it without being a high risk stat....in the case of Second Beach surfing offers a welcome distraction to many impoverished youths who'd otherwise be getting up to kak, so to say that they have to stop surfing is pretty hectic. Imagine if suddenly you were told you could no longer surf at your home break? Inconvenient yes, but all we'd need to do is drive a bit further to another break. However, these guys don't have the luxury of transport - so it's Second Beach or nothing. So how can the beach be made safer for them?
On another sad note, a 15 year old boy drowned at Clubhouse yesterday arvo. Many of the guys saw the NSRI boat trawling the backline and wondered what was up. There was apparently a hectic rip out there, a combo of the swell and the east.
Keep your eye's peeled when you out in the surf on hectic days like this, cos you might just spot someone who needs a lift on your board.