Another Shark Attack in Stilbaai

From Weekend Post (www.weekendpost.co.za):

Claremont surfer Paul Buckley was attacked by a shark on Monday July 7 while riding the waves in Jongensfontein in Stilbaai. He was rushed to a Mossel Bay hospital where a deep wound to his leg was stitched closed before he was discharged today (July 8).

According to NSRI station commander Rico Menezies, the attack happened at 11.15am off a beach frequented by surfers. He said until they examined the board for bite marks, they could not say what type of shark attacked Buckley or how big it was.

Local resident Pieter de Witt, known as Boeta, witnessed the attack from the patio of his parents house. He said he saw two surfers in the water and one began to thrash about wildly.

Boeta realised there was a problem and ran to the beach while his sister brought the car around. They saw Buckley paddle to the beach and ran to his aid when he called for help.

Boeta said it was clear that Buckley had been attacked by something and that his surfboard had a 20 to 25cm hole in it.

From the Eastern Province Herald (www.epherald.co.za)

A STILL Bay teenager is being hailed as a hero after he spotted a surfer being attacked by a shark and rushed to his aid.

Paul Buckley, of Claremont, Cape Town, was attacked by a shark while riding the waves at Jongensfontein in Still Bay, just south of the Garden Route, on Tuesday this week.

Grade 9 pupil Pieter “Boeta” de Witt, 14, who saw the attack from the patio of his parents‘ home, is now in line for a bravery award.

Still Bay NSRI station commander Rico Menezies said yesterday Buckley was attacked at 11.15am but the type and size of the shark were not known. “We are still trying to get hold of the board so we can examine the teeth marks before we determine that.”

De Wit said he saw two surfers in the water and that one began to thrash about. He realised there was a problem and ran to the beach while his sister, Wilmarie, brought their car around. “We saw the man paddle out of the water and we ran to him when he called for help. We could see his leg was so badly injured that it was clear something had attacked him.”

The surfboard had a 20cm to 25cm hole in it, he added.

The siblings rushed Buckley to a local doctor, who treated him for deep flesh and skin wounds on his left thigh. He was later transferred to a Mossel Bay hospital.

Buckley, still clearly shocked by the incident, said it was only thanks to God‘s grace that he had not suffered a fatal injury. He did not want any photographs taken while in hospital.

He said the shark appeared to him to have been about 2,5m long.

“Surfing is my sport and I‘ll paddle out again. Once you have the ocean in your blood, it‘s in your blood,” he said.

Hessequa Deputy Mayor Lorna Scott said De Witt would be given a bravery award for his role in helping Buckley.

Menezies said the sea conditions were favourable for a shark attack as the water was unclear and the waves were quite big.

Two whales were apparently in the area, he said, and the shark could have been drawn if they had a calf with them.

Shark attacks are rare in the Still Bay and Jongensfontein area.