Note: It is our personal opinion that the Port St John’s attacks are most likely not related to Great Whites or chumming, but wish to add the info as it is related content, and certainly cause for concern. – Justin Othersurfa
A 25-year-old man, Lungisani Msungubali, was killed by a shark at Port St Johns Second beach on Sunday, the Eastern Cape health department said. This comes a year to the day that young surfer, Zama, was killed at the same beach.
“This afternoon a swimmer from Port St Johns was attacked by a shark and struggled with it for about five minutes using his surf board,” said spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo.
“A surfer who was next to him during the ordeal described the swimmer as being brave by fighting it. Unfortunately it injured him severely in both arms and in the chest,” he said.
A second eyewitness raised the alarm for other swimmers to leave the water.
“A doctor who was amongst the swimmers tried to save his life along with paramedics who arrived at the beach. The man died on the way to a local health centre.”
“Second beach is notorious for shark attacks and I am told that there is no [shark] net there,” said Kupelo.
PORT St Johns’s notorious Second Beach now has the worst shark attack record in South Africa , according to the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board (KNSB).
“Over the past four years, Second Beach has had an increase in shark attacks, making it the worst in the country,” KNSB chairman Geremy Cliff said yesterday .
Cliff and board officials visited the area yesterday following the fatal shark attack on Lungisani Msungubali on Sunday.
The delegation of five met with Port St Johns mayor Mnyamezeli Mangqo, the municipality’s engineering manager Onke Sopela and municipal spokeswoman Nonceba Madikizela to give a report on shark attacks recorded so far.
The KNSB members also met with one of the lifeguards, Nqobile Jojo, who witnessed Sunday’s attack, which now forms part of the study being undertaken by the KNSB.
The board has been commissioned by the national Environmental Affairs Department to investigate the large shark community in Port St Johns to understand what sort of species and circumstances caused the attacks.
Cliff said in previous cases the attacks were confined to the summer months between January and March, which was the most problematic time of the year.
He said most of the previous attacks in Port St Johns were caused by Zambezi sharks, also known as bull sharks. It was suspected the same species attacked Msungubali.
Cliff said Zambezi sharks were attracted to the Port St Johns area because of the large Umzimvubu River , which they used as a breeding ground .
“Zambezi sharks like coastal waters. The females come down to drop their young ones here in Umzimvubu River; they live in rivers because that’s where they feed.”
He said that could be one of the reasons why there were lots of Zambezi sharks in the area and most attacks took place in summer because they liked the warm water.
Although the board had for years been toying with an idea of installing shark nets to halt further attacks, yesterday it became clear this was out of the question for Second Beach.
KNSB chief scientist Sheldon Dudley said nets had a negative impact on the environment and were therefore not suitable for Port St Johns.
He said they were reducing the nets in KwaZulu-Natal.
At this stage Dudley said they could not say what the best solution for the problem would be, but people needed to take precautions.
“Risks of attacks are high when the water is dirty because the sharks cannot see anything but can sense through smell and movements.”
Dudley said it would take the team two weeks to confirm what sort of shark attacked Msungubali .
Mayor Mnyamezeli Mangqo said Second Beach was closed to the public and would be opened after KNSB completed their study.