South Africa: Surf-skiers involved in a shark encounter at Robberg
National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI)
22. April 2016
At 08h36, Friday, 22nd April, NSRI Plettenberg Bay duty crew were activated following reports of 5 surf-skiers involved in a shark encounter at Robberg at The Wreck, about 400 meters off-shore of Robberg Beach.
NSRI Plettenberg Bay responded to the scene and the sea rescue craft Airlink Rescuer was launched.
On arrival on the scene 5 men, all locals from Plettenberg Bay, aged in their 50’s and 60’s, reported that while paddling on a regular paddle one of the surf-ski’s had been pushed from behind violently causing the paddler, Dave Manson, to be thrown out of the surf-ski.
Realising that it was a shark that had pushed the surf-ski from behind, and the incident which was witnessed by some of the other paddlers, Dave managed to get back into his surf-ski when the surf-ski started to sink and it was noticed that the back of the surf-ski had been bitten off by the shark.
Dave then abandoned his surf-ski and grabbed one of his fellow paddlers surf-ski’s and held onto the surf-ski while the remaining 4 men paddled ashore. Once safely ashore they raised the alarm. The 5 paddlers, Dave Manson, Douglas Hill, Peter Green, Mike Briereley and Neil Kilpatric are certain that the shark was a White Shark and quite large. The bite marks will be investigated to determine the shark size. No one was injured in the incident and NSRI recovered the surf-ski from the water and returned the surf-ski to the paddlers.
NSRI are urging the public to be cautious. It is now well known that at this time of the year sharks migrate close in-shore to feed as part of their natural habit and NSRI urge paddlers, surfers and bathers to be cautious and to be aware of this natural phenomenon.