An East London surfer is lucky to be alive after a shark bit a huge chunk out of his board at Queensberry Bay just outside East London in South Africa.
Kevin Bracey suffered minor lacerations around his knee when the shark bit him while he was paddling out with a friend, Dave Boatwright, for an early surf on Sunday morning.
Marine experts yesterday warned surfers and bathers to be cautious when entering the water along the East Coast after reports of bird, shark and other marine activity associated with the annual sardine run to KwaZulu-Natal.
According to Boatwright, the two were paddling out a few metres apart when he noticed a “big swirl” in the water before Bracey shouted out that he thought he had been bitten on the leg by a shark.
“It all happened so quickly, one minute we were paddling out, the next Kevin said he thought he had been chowed (bitten),” Boatwright explained.
“Everything was going on in slow motion… Kevin’s face was white when he realised the fin of his board saved him from getting his leg bitten off.”
Boatwright said one of the three fins on Bracey’s board prevented the shark from clamping down on his leg – and potentially severing an artery.
“The fin saved his leg from serious damage, it was like putting a stick in a crocodile’s mouth to stop it biting closed.”
Boatwright and a bleeding Bracey caught a wave to shore fearing the worst.
“He was very lucky, he had a few nicks around his knee and a huge chunk out of his board.”
A chunk of foam measuring 20 centimetres by 28 centimetres was missing from the board.
Read the full story at Zig Zag Surfing Magazine