Fishhoek Shark Attack 2

What will the Daily Mail say this time?

Today’s attack took place off Clovelly beach – one of our favourite places to play. Early reports suggest that the victim was a 44 year old male who either ignored warnings not to venture into the water (a shark had been spotted earlier in the morning) or that the siren didn’t sound because of the massive power outage that hit Cape Town today.

In this video taken in the aftermath of the attack, you can clearly see a (the?) shark lazily hanging around off Fishhoek beach.

I’ll update this post when there’s more information to hand.

And here’s the first UPDATE from @animalocean on twitter:

Correcting spreading tweets – The alarm sirens are battery operated and not affected by the power outage.

…which seems like a very good idea.

And then this from reporter Paula Chawles:

according to NSRI the victim was asked personally by life guards not to get into the water because. He ignored them.

Obviously, it doesn’t say beacause of what, but I think it’s safe to assume that it was because there was a massive shark just…*points* just there.

And now a Media Release from the City of Cape Town which tells a slightly different story:

NO. 701/ 2011
28 SEPTMBER 2011

At approximately 12:15 today, 28 September 2011, a swimmer was attacked by a great white shark at Clovelly corner on Fish Hoek Beach.

Immediate reports indicate that the victim sustained severe injuries and lost his lower right leg as a result of the attack. He has been airlifted to hospital for treatment.

At 10:45 this morning, the Shark Spotters sighted the shark and closed the beach to users. The White Shark Flag was raised and the siren was set off. When the victim entered the water, the beach was still closed and the shark flag indicating the presence of a white shark was flying. The Shark Spotter stationed on the beach was warned by the Shark Spotter on the mountain that someone had entered the water. The Shark Spotter then ran to Clovelly Corner to try and get the swimmer out of the water, but the attack took place before he could reach him.

The victim of the shark attack was the only person in the water at the time of the attack.

The City’s Emergency Services staff are on the beach providing assistance and the City has closed Fish Hoek beach as well as Glencairn, St. James, and Muizenberg beaches as a precaution. The shark responsible for the attack is still in Fish Hoek bay and is being monitored by the spotters.

The beaches will remain closed until further notice.

It’s perhaps worth noting that the Clovelly corner of Fishhoek beach is a good distance from the Shark Spotters’ station at the South end of the beach and – as far as I am aware – there are no flags nor personnel on duty at the Clovelly end.

THURSDAY: The Daily Mail [remember that disclaimer!]*sigh* tells us he knew the risks:

The 43-year-old is said to have swum regularly at Fish Hoek beach, notorious for great white shark sightings, even telling fellow beachgoers: “If a shark takes me, then blame me, not the shark.”

Witnesses said he parked his car and then walked right past a flag indicating that the beach was closed. At least two people warned him that a shark had been seen, but he strode into the water anyway.

Meanwhile, “Bob” the shark is now on twitter.

Full report by the City of Cape Town here, including the lines:

The victim was known to the Shark Spotters and had previously repeatedly ignored verbal warnings by the spotters to adhere to the shark warnings and beach closures.

The victim’s car was parked in the main parking area at Fish hoek beach indicating that he had accessed the beach from the well signposted area where the shark warning flag was flying.

He had informed the car guards of where his car keys were hidden in the event that something happened to him.

Victim was swimming between the shore and breakers (not behind breakers).

You make your own choices in this life…

Stairway to Heaven

The kids were anxious to get to the beach this morning after last weekend’s stupifying temperatures and who were we to deny them, despite the fact it was only 18°C under dreary English grey skies?
Clovelly was the beach of choice and Alex’s latest pastime of digging a really big hole in the sand began in earnest, while Kristen’s favourite role as dog-spotter was equally successful. Mum was busy being buried as Dad went off to snap some of the urban ugliness in this otherwise beautiful spot.

It seems so out of place. Look beyond this nastiness and there is the Silvermine Nature Reserve. Turn around and you’ve got a stunning view down the False Bay coast via Fishhoek to Simonstown and beyond towards Cape Point. But the railway is a thin scar that runs right the way along the coast from Muizenberg to Simonstown.
From the train, the view of the beach is spectacular; from the beach, the view of the train less so.