Zoe Steyn, a teenager, was surfing Nahoon Reef, East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa, on Friday afternoon, 7 July 2017, when a 2.5m-3m Great White shark bit into her board and pulled it from under her. She was not injured.
According to a report in the Daily Dispatch, adaptive surfing champ JP Veaudry, who was in the water at the time ‘swam towards the screaming teen after the shark pulled the board out from beneath her’. He paddled with her to the surfer’s walkway across the reef and helped her ashore.
“My first thought was to get out of there, but I couldn’t just leave her. She said she didn’t know if she’d been bitten. I paddled with her to the slipway and when we got out she said it hadn’t bitten her. But I saw it bit her board in exactly the place where her arm could have been.”
Tristan Wantenaar, 33, who was bodyboarding a few metres in front of Zoe at the time of the attack said he heard her scream and turned around to see the large dorsal fin of the shark thrashing.
“It grabbed her board and thrashed it from side to side. She was trying to get back on her board to get out of the water.”
Zoe was uninjured in the incident.
The shark attack sparked a debate on the Zigzag surf mag forum about whether it was an encounter or an attack.
Zoë is my daughter. She is as passionate about the environment as she is about surfing. The declining shark population is of great concern to her! She will be back in the water tomorrow for our local trials. We are very grateful that her encounter/ attack (call it what you will), left her unscathed. Also, all you guys who rushed to her aid and paddled back to shore with her are just awesome! That’s the spirit we try and instill in our children, and testimony to the camaraderie in the surfing community!! We are truly grateful!!!
Paul Goff, 48, was bodyboarding 30 metres off Casuarina Point in Bunbury, Western Australia, when a 4-metre great white shark knocked him off his board and then returned and bit his board before disappearing.
Paul made it to shore uninjured, but he was treated for shock. He did not need to be taken to hospital.
watch video of kayaker knocked out of kayak by great white, scared, but unharmed.
Brian Correiar was kayaking 100 metres offshore in Monterey Bay, California on Saturday 18 March 2017 when a great white shark attacked the 14-foot, single-person ocean kayak he was paddling.
“It all started with a bang,” Correiar told National Geographic. “Suddenly the kayak was launched into the air and I fell halfway out of it. I began yelling. I remember thinking, ‘I have to do a deep-water entry from the kayak, and I haven’t practiced that since my last rescue class.’”
Just 3 feet away he could see the shark which had latched on to his kayak. He says initially he froze, but then slid out the kayak and started to swom to short on his back so he could keep an eye on the shark.
The shark surged towards him with the kayak still in its mouth.
“At this point I was really nervous, I was sure I was done,” he said.
He saw a small yacht approaching and waved to it. At this point the shark dived below him
“It was like a horror movie,” Correiar told National Geographic. “The shark came toward me, dropped the kayak, then dove straight down below me where I couldn’t see it.”
The skipper of the yacht came alongside Correiar and managed to pull him aboard, unharmed.