Matthew Smithers was attacked by a 4 m Great White Shark while surfing at Muizenberg last Friday.
According to reports, he was smashed into the air by the force of the attack and was bitten on his legs by the huge shark.
Here is the eyewitness account by SUP rider and surfer Brandon ‘Jock’ Kannemeyer, courtesy of www.wavescape.co.za.
“I was sitting very far out on my SUP with Julian (Pringle). I suggested to him that we move in, and as I started to paddle towards the shore I spotted a large black shape moving through the water about 5 metres to my right.
“I thought it was a whale at first. I mentioned this to Jules and paddled into a wave that didn’t get me very far. As the wave faded out, I headed back out and saw what was clearly a big Great White shark, the white belly giving it away as it cruised through a wave about 10 metres in front of me.
“I turned, caught a wave and headed in. I stopped about 20 from the shore and kneeling on my SUP looked back and around, checking that everyone was heading in.
Jules then came past me laying down on his SUP saying there had been an attack.
“I stood up and saw two guys clearly in trouble about 20 metres away. I paddled out and across to them.
The victim was being helped in by a very brave friend. I knew the SUP could be of great help in a surf rescue so stayed with them and tried to assist.
“I checked the victim had two bad wounds, one on each leg so I used a leash to tourniquet both thighs as we swam, pushed and paddled him towards the shore.
“Jules appeared and joined in and we carried the victim up the beach on his board. I stayed with him applying pressure with my hand to a terrible wound in the back of his knee till the medics arrived some 20 minutes later.
“He was one lucky guy. The shark was big. His board took 90% of the hit and the shark got a mouth full of fins and board, and not his legs.”
Muizenberg was reopened to the public yesterday.
It may have been the cold weather and stiff NW offshore, or the fact that the surf was only 1-2′, but there weren’t too many people surfing.