There have been two shark attacks on the South African coast in the last few days, neither of them fatal but the second of the two resulting in the loss of a leg.
On Saturday, Marty Reddering, a longtime volunteer with the National Sea Rescue Institute, was at home on Friday afternoon when he heard the emergency siren sound and rushed down to the the aptly named Lookout Beach to respond. It wasn’t till he arrived he arrived at the NRSI station that he found out there had been a shark attack — and not until a few minutes later that the victim was his son Dylan, who he knew had been out surfing at the time.
“I didn’t know it was my son. When I got to the [NSRI] station I was told there’s a shark attack.
“The boats were already out. A friend called me [and said] it was Dylan. My friend said: ‘Dylan is okay, don’t worry.’ You have no idea what those words meant.”
“Dylan didn’t see anything. It just hit him from below. He said he was beating and kicking it and then he caught the next wave (using his surfboard).”
There were nervous moments when on his way back to shore he got stuck in a rip, but his friends soon pulled him from the water, and fortunately the deep gashes to his right hip and buttock missed arteries.
The following day 19-year old Caleb Swanepoel, a student at Cape Town University, was surfing with friends at Buffels Bay when he was attacked by what’s thought to have been a great white. Part of his right leg had been ripped off, but by chance a local doctor was on hand, and she began emergency treatment on the beach as they waited for the paramedics. Though conscious and stable upon their arrival, Caleb’s condition was serious, and he was air-lifted to George Medi-Clinic, where his right leg was amputated above the knee and the lacerations to his left were treated
Last month, 29-year old Mathieu Dasnois survived an attack by a 4m great white shark off Port St Johns by poking it in the eye.