It was like someone pushed a button to turn the sea from a clear blue to dark red, that’s how quickly he was losing blood from the wound.
David Lilienfeld, 20, was killed by a shark while bodyboarding at Koeel Bay (Kogel Baai), near Cape Town, South Africa. The shark is presumed to be a great white 4-5 metres long. There were two sharks in the area when the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) boat arrived on the scene.
The attack took place at a surf spot called Caves at Koeel Bay in the afternoon of Thursday 19 April 2012.
Lilienfeld was a Springbok bodyboarder and placed 5th in the South African bodyboarding championships in 2011.
A witness to the attack said the shark repeatedly attacked Lilienfeld. His leg was severed in the ordeal as he tried to fight off the shark with his bodyboard.
Lilienfled was pulled from the water by his brother. He was confirmed dead on the scene by rescue personnel.
A witness who was had just come in from a surf and was on the beach at the time of the attack told the press the surf was “really fun”. He had gone in and was sitting on the beach when “I saw a huge dorsal fin of a shark surface near to the two bodyboarders, and close in on them.”
He said Lilienfeld tried to fight off the shark by pushing his bodyboard between himself and the great white, but “the shark kept coming back, a second and I think a third time, before it got his leg. It was like someone pushed a button to turn the sea from a clear blue to dark red, that’s how quickly he was losing blood from the wound.”
“I think it took about 8 minutes to get the young bodyboarder to shore, but you could already tell by that time that he’d lost a lot of blood.”
The witness told ZigZag that he had been surfing at Koeel Bay for the past 19 years “but something doesn’t feel right there anymore”.
“I’ve got a feeling I am going to regret coming down to the beach for this surf for a long time. The visual memory of the bodyboarder being attacked is going to be stuck in the back of my mind and although I’ve often surfed Caves alone, I don’t think I will be doing that anymore – at least for a long time to come.”
“It was a horror show. It looked like something from the Jaws movie.”
A serious debate that has been ongoing for some time about chumming — throwing blood and guts into — the water in the vicinity where the attack took place to attract sharks for shark cage diving and documentary filming has come to the fore in South Africa following this tragic incident. For more on the debate read this article in ZigZag.
The City of Cape Town released a report of the attack – in an effort to clarify exacty what happened and also weigh in on the chumming debate.
Report and Review of Events at Kogel Bay “Caves” After Great White Shark Attack
Shark pic via ZigZag|
Shot by Sven Thoresen and uploaded to Twitter. @sven110975