Contributing Gear Writer
paramedics gather around a man with a sharkbite (left); the bite wounds (right)

A Cape Town, South Africa man was “stable” following a Wednesday shark bite. Photos: screenshots

The Inertia

South Africa’s Jeffreys Bay has a reputation for two things: its tasty righthand point break and its history of shark attacks.

Add another episode under the latter category, as a male surfer suffered a shark bite at Jeffreys on the evening of May 3. The Cape Town man, “believed to be 50,” sustained non-life threatening wounds, according to a press release from the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI).

Images from the scene showed paramedics working on the man’s bleeding leg, and the NSRI stated he was “stable, in good spirits and in good care” following the incident.

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The attack comes ahead of the World Surf League’s Corona Open J-Bay stop, slated for July 13-22. An eyewitness described a scene in which surfers retreated from the water after being alerted to the man’s distress. Some soon plunged back into the surf to “fetch the casualty” back to dry land.

A bystander “raised the alarm,” then obtained access to the shark bite kit the NSRI maintains on the beach. When paramedics arrived, they found good samaritan caretakers applying trauma pads to the man’s wounds. The man received ambulance transport from the scene to a hospital for further care.

NSRI “commend[s] the swift action of the public members and the Good Samaritan fellow surfers” who sprang into action to care for the injured man. The organization, along with Kouga Municipality, urged caution for anyone entering the water soon after the incident.

Only one outlet thus far has identified the shark species: The Daily Mail, which claimed it was a Great White. Elsewhere, research shows that orcas have been driving Great Whites from the South African coast for years. One specific group of killer whales frequents the waters to hunt the giant sharks, and has generated measurable results.

Of course, J-Bay is where three-time world champ Mick Fanning suffered one of the most famous shark attacks ever, while competing in 2015. The now-retired Fanning talked about his long battle with ongoing trauma following the incident.


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