Friday, October 11, 2013

Fatal Shark Attack in Jefferey's Bay, South Africa

Fatal shark attack at Albatros Beach, Jeffereys Bay-Credit Jordan Zeelie
The National Sea Rescue Institute, NSRI, has put out a release stating that at approximately 11:30am, a male victim was killed by a shark next to Albatros Beach in Jeffereys Bay, South Africa.

SA Police Services and Sea Rescue duty crews were activated and they launched 2 sea rescue craft.

On arrival at the scene, they recovered the remains of a body. According to witnesses, the victim had been snorkeling at the time of the attack.

Reports via social media state that a large shark was involved and that the victim sustained severe injuries and most likely died instantly.

Photograph from the scene by Jordan Zeelie.

UPDATE with video 10/13/2013: 

According to the IB Times, the victim was 74-year-old Burgert van der Westhuizen.  He was a local to the area and was an experienced open water swimmer who frequented the waters along the Jeffryes Bay coastline.

Numerous media outlets are reporting that it was a horrific and violent attack that left the victim bitten in half.

With all the sadness surrounding this awful incident, we are happy to share the account of Terry Oliver who acted heroically in attempting to rescue the victim.

Terry Olivier was near the beach on his kayak (surf ski) when he was approached by a woman yelling from the shore that a man was being attacked by a shark. At first he couldn't see anything but then he then noticed numerous birds in the vicinity.  He paddled to the victim and he states that the great white was just "circling, eating, circling, eating."

Olivier attempted to retrieve the body and pull it onto his kayak but as he got close, the shark came out the water and grabbed the victim and pulled him under.

At this point, Mr. Olivier was able to access the size of the shark which he states was larger than his 5 meter (16 foot)  kayak. The victim was obviously deceased as he was missing appendages and was not breathing.

The shark then began circling Mr. Olivier on his kayak and he decided to head back to shore.  As he turned his kayak, he states that the shark came after him.  He began sprinting towards shore as people on the beach began yelling for him to paddle faster.

Once he made it to shore, rescue services arrived and they made their way out to the remains of the victim. They were able to chase off the shark by circling it multiple times with a jet ski. At this point, the remains of the victim were retrieved and brought to shore.

We extended our heartfelt condolences to the victim's family and friends and we applaud the heroic actions of Mr. Olivier.

Here is an interview with Mr. Olivier.  The English portion begins at the 31 second mark.