INJURED – 29 April 2017 – Keurbooms, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa – surfer

A 14-year-old boy (name withheld in local media because of his age) sustained minor lacerations to his right calf after he was bitten by a shark while he was surfing with two others at The Waves surf spot on Keurbooms beach, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa. The incident took place around 5pm on Saturday 29 April 2017.



Shark researchers suspect that it was a 2-metre great white shark, going by the size of the bite marks.

He was treated by NSRI (National Sea Rescue Institute) medics and by paramedics on the scene for lacerations to his right calf before being transported to hospital by ambulance in a stable condition.

According to media reports, the teenager was surfing with two other surfers. At the take-off zone he turned to catch a wave when he saw a fin approaching him; he felt a bump and he felt a bite on his right calf.

He caught a wave to the beach where he was met by his father, who had witnessed the incident, and bystanders who aided and called paramedics.

There had been several sightings of sharks in the bay the day before, prompting the NSRI to issue a warning to surfers and swimmers.

“The increase in shark inshore presence at this time of the year is part of the normal aggregation of these animals. Sharks are aggregating in this area at this time, as they have done in previous years, to take advantage of naturally occurring prey like seals and fish close inshore,” the NSRI said in a statement.





Times Live


WITNESS REPORT – FATAL attack on surfer at Lookout Beach, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa — 23 August 2011

This is a witness report to the fatal shark attack originally reported here.

Tim van Heerden, 49 was surfing with friends at Lookout Beach, Plettenberg Bay, South African, on 23 August 2011, when he was bitten twice on the leg and groin by what is believed to be a great white.

The other surfers managed to bring to shore but he died from blood loss despite the efforts of doctors to revive him.

One of his friends, Tim Clarke, who was on the beach at the time of the attack told media what he saw.

“He was lying on the board paddling back to the surf after a ride when I heard him scream as the shark hit him the first time and pulled him off the board. Tim was trying to climb back on when the shark came around and hit him again. I only saw the fin. Tim disappeared under the water for a moment and, when he came up a few seconds later, the sea around him turned red.”

A surfer, Cameron Payne, who was in the water at the time was quoted as saying:

“I was about 20 metres away from Tim. I was just lining up a wave when I heard one of the two Australian guys surfing with us shout ‘shark!’.

“I looked across and saw the shark’s tail thrashing as it churned up the water around him. There was a lot of blood.”

Another friend of Van Heerden’s, Charlie Reitz, who swam out to help the injured surfer back to shore, said he was just drifting, still clinging to his board after the attack.

“He was in really bad shape when I reached him. I think he had already bled out. He was not focusing and his eyes were glazed over.”

Another surfer on the beach at the time, Lloyd Chapman was quoted as saying:

“From the amount of blood, it was evident that the main femoral artery was severed. It looked like the femur was also broken.”

Payne and Reitz helped bring Van Heerden back to shore on his board and Payne told media he “didn’t want to look at the wound because it was really bad”.

Van Heerden had lost consciousness by the time volunteers and emergency rescue arrived at the scene shortly after the attack around 9am.

A National Sea Rescue Institute spokesperson was quoted as saying:

Van Heerden “was on the rocks after being brought out by fellow surfers. Extensive resuscitation efforts commenced at the scene, in the ambulance and at the hospital, but he was declared dead by doctors”.



UPDATE – FATAL shark attack on surfer at Lookout Beach, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa — 23 August 2011

This is an update to the original blog post of this shark attack on Tuesday 23 August 2011.

The 49-year-old surfer who died from a shark attack at Lookout Beach, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa, has been identified as Tim van Heerden. It’s reported he was pulled from the water by fellow surfers. He sustained major wounds to his thigh and groin. Doctors were unable to resuscitate him.


FATAL — 23 August 2011 – Lookout Beach, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa – surfer attacked

A 49-year-old surfer (name not reported) has died from wounds to his leg after being bitten by what is believed to be a great white, while surfing at Lookout Beach in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa. The incident at 9.11am on Tuesday 23 August 2011.

According to the brief report, witnesses said the man’s leg was badly injured. The National Sea Rescue Institute said doctors spent several hours trying to save the man, but failed.

ZigZag reports: He saw the shark, which from reports was not a big shark, and shouted to warn the others. The shark then turned on him, and took him first on the top of the leg, possibly severing the femoral artery. It then pulled him under and took him on the bottom of the leg.

No other details were reported.

We await more details and will provide an update later.