Shark Encounter in Plett, South Africa

Monday, 23 April 2018 09:48 | Written by 
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When sharks nibble... When sharks nibble...

“NSRI Plettenberg Bay duty crew were activated following reports of a man bumped off his surfski near Robberg Beach, Plettenberg Bay…” Bump? Some bump!

So what happened was this, courtesy of Plett resident "Steel" Neal Stephenson (who is himself a shark attack survivor):

Seal Research

A seal researcher(!) was on a small Knysna Kayaks Guppie kid’s surfski, observing seals about a kilometre up the coast from Robberg Beach when an inquisitive Great White Shark “investigated” the blue object floating in the water next to its breakfast.

As was eloquently explained to me by a shark expert, sharks are known to be inquisitive “but they don’t have hands that they can use to examine objects – so they use their mouths…”

The result: one waterlogged guppie ski with a large hole in the bottom and a researcher swimming in the water with… yep. He was about 40m from shore and had to swim over to the rocks, knowing what was underneath him! Once on the rocks he stayed put and waited for help.

The shark was most likely to be a juvenile Great White of about 2.5m in length.

shark bite

Clearly this shark bit down quite hard...

shark bite

Perspective: it wasn't a huge shark, but clearly big enough to do some serious damage to a human.

NSRI Pick-up

Happily, an eyewitness had seen what had happened and summoned the NSRI who came and picked him and his ski up.

Rumour has it that the researcher is looking for a slightly larger boat for his seal observations…

guppie ski

The Guppie is a kid's surfski, made by Knysna Racing Kayaks...  The shark bite must have been just in front of the paddler's feet.

Last Plett Shark/Surfski Incident

How’s this for a coincidence: The last shark/surfski incident in Plett happened two years ago to the very day…

In that one, a much larger shark smashed paddler Ben Swart right out of the water...

I wrote it up for the NSRI Magazine…

Ben Swart story 1

ben swart story 2

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