Woman Killed by Great White Shark as She Went Out for Early Morning Swim

A woman screamed as she was torn to pieces in a horrific attack by a great white shark when she was taking an early morning dip in the sea to celebrate a Bank Holiday weekend when on holiday.

The 39-year-old hadn’t ventured beyond the shallow water when the deadly predator raced in from the deep water and launched a savage attack, not far from her fellow swimmers.

The woman had been on the edge of a group and began screaming as the shark bit into her and vanished again.

The National Sea Rescue Institute was called as screaming swimmers and surfers cleared the water at Central Beach, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa, just before 8am.

A rescue craft was launched in a desperate effort to save the woman but arrived too late and found her blood-soaked body around 50 feet from shore.

Local officials shut the beach and put up signs warning people to stay out of the water.

The woman was believed to have been on holiday to the area and is the third person to be victim of a vicious great white attack in the past 11 years.

An eyewitness told rescuers: “It was a bit cloudy but there was some sun out and there were quite a few people taking an early dip as the temperature was quite warm.

“Then I just heard lots of screaming and saw people running out the water. I guessed it was a shark attack but I was quite a way away and then the lifeboat turned up.

“I then heard a woman had been attacked while swimming only two or three waves out so it was quite shallow, but it was said nothing could be done to help her”.

Bitou Municipality Mayor David Swart said: “We have never had a fatality at Plettenberg until 2011 and now we have had three with two in the last three months.

“We are researching into and looking at putting up a shark barrier and increased warning signage and starting our lifeguard’s season a month earlier than usual.

“There seems to be no change in the shark’s behaviour in this area so it is a bit of a mystery why we have had three fatal attacks in such a short space of time.

“Our thoughts go out to the woman and her family at this time” he said.

In South Africa yesterday was a Bank Holiday for Heritage Day – a day that is usually spent with friends and family.

The tragic victim is from Cape Town and is thought to have been on holiday in the popular beach resort which is 300 miles from Cape Town on the Garden Route.

Her mauled body was handed to forensic pathologists and the police for an inquest docket to be made while her next of kin are all made aware.

Only last June, acclaimed long distance swimmer and dad Bruce Wolov was ripped apart in a violent shark attack just off-shore.

Then, back in 2011, keen surfer Tim Van Heerden was surfing when a great white shark attacked him.

It bit him and knocked him into the sea before tearing into him a second time. Even though a brave friend grabbed him and got him to the rocks, he had suffered massive wounds to his groin and upper leg which severed his femoral artery and he died.

Great White Sharks can grow up to 20 feet long, weigh up to 2 tonnes and have up to 300 razor sharp serrated teeth arranged in rows in its giant jaws.

The predator when attacking can swim at up to 35mph guided by an extremely powerful sense of smell but normally prey on seals, sea lions, dolphins and turtles.

Humans can be mistaken for seals especially when wearing wet suits and attacks are said by experts not to be intentional but “experimental” when they bite.

They usually move away after biting once when they realize the human is not their natural prey but the damage done by just one powerful bite is often fatal.

In the last 25 years 37 people have been killed in shark attacks off South Africa and going back as far as 1950 the figure rises to 66 who have fallen victim to their jaws.

Shark activity along the Garden Route from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town increases in winter due to the annual sardine run – an important food source for a long period.

A South African shark expert, who asked not to be named, said: “You have to remember the ocean has always been the territory of the shark – they rule.

“There are more and more people in the water these days what with surfing and paddle boarding and swimming and the sharks are always never very far away.

“But they are not seeking out humans and attacks are rare and usually not intended as they mistake humans for prey but the results are often fatal.

“You have 47 time more chance of being killed by lightning or 11 times more chance of being killed by fireworks than being killed by a shark. Wrong place wrong time”. he said.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: