Fatal Attack on the Garden Route

24 August 2011


photo: jared aufrichtig

48-year-old Plett surfer, Tim van Heerden, has died after an unknown shark bit him at Keurbooms River Mouth at Lookout Beach, yesterday morning.

Van Heerden, a 48 yr old local from the area known for his craft in making Ugg boots, had lost lots of blood by the time he was pulled out of the water by fellow surfer Charles Reitz. According to reports, his leg was badly mauled and doctors desperately tried to save him on the way to ICU.

It is believed he was bitten in the groin area, and that his femoral artery was servered. Eye witness reports says that the shark looked like a two metre great white shark.

In an interview with Zigzag surfing magazine, Reitz said he had been watching the waves when he saw the shark take Van Heerden on the inside in small surf.

“He had lost all of his blood and his heart stopped twice on the rocks. The shark severed his femoral artery. Sea Rescue from Plett were on the scene quickly,” he told the Zag.

taken from Wavescape article “http://www.wavescape.co.za/breaking-news/breaking-news/plett-shark-attack.html”

Our hearts go out to the van Heerden family and friends of Tim, to Charles, Lloyd and Daryn who helped pull him from the water, and to all the folks on the beach who went through this tragic experience. Know that Tim died doing what he loved.

Isn’t it time the Plett community considered a Shark Spotter program like in Cape Town?
The sightings are very regular, and the lookout position is perfect for keeping an eye on things. Creating jobs and safer surfing, and preventing tragedies like this in areas with high surfer/shark density..

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