In a shocking shark attack a Zimbabwean tourist has been killed in an attack by a Great white shark while swimming in waist deep water at the popular beach of Fish Hoek, near Cape Town in the False Bay area.

Witnesses say the man was attacked and lifted bodily out of the water by the enormous shark, which came back for a second attack taking the rest of the man out of sight.

"Lifeguard Frederick Wagenvoorde was on his tower and saw lots of splashing and thrashing around in the water, and then a lot of blood," said Colleen Saunders, regional co-ordinator for Life-saving, Western Province.

The attack happened at 3.15pm. Other bathers were unaware of the attack until lifeguards signalled to them to get out of the water.

The man's partner was on the beach but, it is understood, did not see the attack. Three craft from the National Sea Rescue Institute, a dinghy from Western Province Lifesaving, a helicopter and about 15 lifeguards combed sea, air and land yesterday in search of the victim.

His body had not been found by late last night. "The man has been identified but [his] family has not yet been notified," Saunders said. The man, who lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo, was due to spend a month in South Africa with his partner before leaving for the UK. One of his two daughters lives in Kenya and the other in the US. They had not been told of their father's death at the time of going to press last night. The NSRI's Ian Klopper said the man was standing chest-deep in the water adjusting his goggles when he was dragged below the surface.

"The man's partner was here but we have sent her home. She is very shocked but is remaining hopeful, but the outlook does not look good," Klopper said.

Eye witness, Sally Wentworth, who lives on the mountainside overlooking the beach, said she heard shouting, looked outside and saw "red in the sea".

"At first it looked as if there were dolphins, a flurry in the water. Then I saw something floating in the water, obviously the body, and the shark's fin coming up, well above the water. It was not a nice thing to have witnessed."

Wentworth said the attack was over in about three minutes. "We normally hear the siren [sounded by shark-spotters, warning swimmers to leave the water] but not this time. The black flag was out indicating conditions were too difficult for shark-spotters to see into the water," she said.

Cheryl-Samantha Owen, of the Save Our Seas Foundation, said the attack was the first indication that sharks were in the area. The NSRI put out an alert on Monday to warn surfers and swimmers about increased shark activity in False Bay.

In 2004, regular Fish Hoek beach swimmer Tyna Webb, 77, was attacked by what was believed to have been a Great White shark. Her body was not found.

Alison Kock, director of research for the shark-spotting programme, which records behaviour and movement of the sharks, said the previous attack on a swimmer was in 2007.
"We have daily sightings but attacks are pretty rare," he said.

BREAKING NEWS...... 12th January, 2010 Man dies in CT shark attack
2010-01-12 17:10 - Duncan Alfreds

Cape Town - The NSRI has confirmed that a swimmer has been the victim of a shark attack at Fish Hoek beach near Cape Town. Ian Klopper of the NSRI told News24 that an intensive search was underway to locate the swimmer, but had so far yielded nothing. "A white male, between 32 and 38 years old has been taken by a shark and we have not been able to locate the patient," Klopper said. The identity of the victim is still unknown. Twitter users also confirmed the attack. "Holy sh*t, we just saw a GIGANTIC shark eat what looked like a person right in front of our house in fishhoek. Unbelievable," wrote skabenga. Bathers have been warned by Cape Town Disaster management to be on the lookout for great white sharks which traditionally cruise this stretch of the coast at this time of year. "The appearance of white sharks is normal during peak summer months in Cape Town near in-shore areas, as these sharks are known to hunt and feed along this stretch of coastline at this time of year," spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said on Tuesday.

ONLY WAIST DEEP ? Unconfirmed reports state that the shark severed the man's lower torso before circling and returning for the remainder. Onlookers also describe how the man was "only waist deep" in the water when the shark initially attacked him suggesting that it was in less than a metre of water. The two phase attack also may explain why many onlookers thought that a second man a "rescuer" was also a victim of this attack. and BATHERS.... !!!

A witness said they witnessed the desperate search by rubber duck and speedboat for the body or other remains in very choppy sea with a strong South Easterly wind.

Despite the flying of the shark flag on the beach we were astonished to see a middle aged couple walk into and start bathing in the sea about 15 metres from the water's edge while the search was in progress. They were it seems the only people on the beach at the time.

Did they not think this strange? From their location they had come onto the beach from the Trek Fishermens' launch area to the northern side of the main beach and were seemingly unaware of the attack or the shark warning visible to the southern end.

They were however not long in the water, the search was called off by dusk at 19:30 and the flag was taken down shortly thereafter.

Cape Times 12/1/10 23:00
"Blood in the water was all I could see" By Caryn Dolley, Jo-Anna Smetherham and Michelle Jones

A Fish Hoek resident has described how the jaws of a giant shark clamped down on a swimmer just metres from other beach-goers.

"Holy sh*t. We just saw a gigantic shark eat what looked like a person in front of our house... That shark was huge. Like dinosaur huge," Gregg Coppen posted on his Twitter account on Tuesday

He witnessed the attack from his home near the beach.

The swimmer then disappeared underwater at Fish Hoek beach. The 37-year-old from Harare, Zimbabwe, had been living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and had been on holiday in South Africa.

The search was called off as light faded last night and rescuers were expected to continue searching for his body on Wednesday morning. On Tuesday night, the man could not be named as most of his relatives had not been told about the attack.

His girlfriend, who was at the beach with him, had been taken away from the scene and given trauma counselling.

Fish Hoek police station spokesperson Peter Middleton said an inquest docket had been opened. He said he was shocked to hear the attack happened in water about two metres deep.

Kyle Johnston, of Diep River, said he and his friends had been swimming near the man when the shark struck.

"We were swimming only about 15 metres away from the guy. We were at about chest depth and he was a little deeper.

"We looked at the walkway and saw people waving towels at us, then we looked further out to sea and saw what looked like blood, and a man's leg come up."

"I was floating and I thought the people waving at us were joking, but then I looked back and saw a fin and blood," his friend Dane Leo said.

Irishman Denis Lundon, who was on Jager Walk, saw "several bits of fish" that might have been parts of a single shark emerging from the water, then a swimmer being thrust chest-high out of the sea.

"I jumped, waved my hat and roared and screamed at swimmers to get out of the water. I never want to experience this again. I'm going to block it out of my mind," he said.

"We saw the shark come back twice," Lundon's friend Phyllis McCartain, from England, said.
"It had the man's body in its mouth, and his arm was in the air. Then the sea was full of blood."

Kathy Geldenhuys was sitting on a nearby bench with her husband at the time of the attack. "My husband had just pointed out how far the man was swimming from the other people. He asked what would happen if he was attacked by a shark, because he was so far away. The words were hardly cold when the shark attacked that man. The shark attacked twice; it turned and attacked the man again; I just saw the blood on the water."

Geldenhuys said she hadn't seen the shark before it attacked the man. "Only when it was attacking did I see the fin, but then I could see the whole body under the water. It was a very big shark."

Later, speaking to the Cape Times, Coppen described the shark as being "longer than a minibus and the rubber ducks lifeguards use".

"It was this giant shadow heading to something colourful. Then it sort of came out the water and took this colourful lump and went off with it. You could see it's whole jaw wrap around the thing which turned out to be a person," Coppen said.

He then saw people running around on the beach. The National Sea Rescue Institute's helicopter duty commander Ian Klopper said a number of witnesses had reported seeing the man about 100 metres from the shore when the shark attacked.

Afterwards his body could not be located and Metro Red Cross Air Mercy Service spokesperson Vanessa Horn said it appeared the shark had dragged the body with it.

The helicopter had headed towards Kalk Bay as that was the direction the shark had swum in, but it was not spotted. Klopper said aside from the rescue helicopter, four vessels were at sea trying to locate the man's body and rescuers were also doing patrols on the shoreline.

Shark scientist Alison Kock, speaking at a media briefing at the Fish Hoek Lifesaving Club, said eight sharks had been spotted between Muizenberg and St James last Friday, another eight on Saturday, and one on Sunday.

"We don't want people to panic," she said. "But do be vigilant. We know sharks live here. Don't swim far out or by yourself, or if there have been lots of fish activity in the area."

Cape Times 12/1/10
Search for shark attack victim called off 12 January 2010, 19:00 Witness Tweets shark-attack as it happens.
By Caryn Dolley
The search has been called off for the night for the body of a tourist from the Democratic Republic of Congo killed in a shark attack on Tuesday afternoon at Fish Hoek beach on Cape Town's False Bay coast.
Divers and rescuers from the police and the National Sea Rescue Institute stood down as the water turned murky in failing light.
There has thus far been no remains found of the man who had been on holiday in SA for a month.

"That shark was huge. Like a dinosaur, huge" 12 January 2010, 19:52 Witness Tweets shark-attack as it happens.

By Caryn Dolley, Jo-Anne Smetherham and Michelle Jones

A Fish Hoek resident has described how the jaws of a"giant" shark clamped down on a swimmer just metres from other beach-goers.

"Holy sh*t. We just saw a gigantic shark eat what looked like a person in front of our house... That shark was huge. Like dinosaur huge," Gregg Coppen posted on his Twitter account on Tuesday.

He witnessed the attack from his home near the beach.

The swimmer, a 37-year-old man from the Democratic Republic of Congo and on holiday in the country for a month, then disappeared underwater at Fish Hoek beach.

DRC tourist succumbs to a fatal shark attack 12 January 2010, 18:28 Witness Tweets shark-attack as it happens. By Caryn Dolley A tourist from the Democratic Republic of Congo succumbed to a fatal shark attack at Fish Hoek on Cape Town's False Bay coast this afternoon.

The man who had been on holiday in SA for a month, could not be identified as most of his relatives had not been informed. A woman, believed to be his wife and who was at the beach with him, had been taken away from the scene and given trauma counselling.

Fish Hoek resident Gregg Coppen witnessed the attack from his home near the beach.

This warning was issued 4/5 hrs before the fatal attack............

Cape Town issues shark warning

12 January 2010, 12:14

Cape Town's disaster management warned bathers to be on the lookout for Great White sharks which traditionally cruise that stretch of the coast for a nibble at this time of year.

"The appearance of White sharks is normal during peak summer months in Cape Town near in-shore areas, as these sharks are known to hunt and feed along this stretch of coastline at this time of year," spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said on Tuesday.

The sharks have not been seen coming close to the beaches or near swimmers. Shark spotters have seen them along the False Bay coastline between Sunrise Beach and Fish Hoek.

Bathers and swimmers along the False Bay coastline are urged to be cautious and to adhere to the safety warnings of shark spotters.

When the spotters sound their alarms to warn of shark sightings near to bathing and surfing areas, bathers and surfers must leave the water immediately until the danger passes. Information on recent shark movements in False Bay is available on the Shark Spotters website www.sharkspotters.org.za - Sapa

Timeslive.co.za This report was po/sted at 17:03
Man missing after suspected shark attack in Fish Hoek

Jan 12, 2010 5:03 PM | By Staff Reporter

The Fish Hoek Surf Life Saving Club and law enforcement have launched a search for a man believed to have been attacked by a shark while swimming at Fish Hoek beach which has become notorious for Great White Shark attacks.

According to spokesman for the Western Life Saving Club spokesman, Keith Mathews, a man is believed to have been pulled under by a shark while swimming about 20 metres out to sea. He said the people around him were not aware of what was happening when he was pulled under.

Lifesavers promptly sounded the siren for swimmers to get out of the water.

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