UPDATE: Sea Rescue Knysna, Sunday 28th June.
It has been confirmed that Caleb was bodysurfing and not on a surfboard.
Two of Caleb’s brothers who were in the water with him at the time and rescued him from the surf.
A shark emergency kit, kept at the Buffalo bay shop, was brought to the scene.
The emergency care provided by the doctor and by Caleb’s family, friends, fellow surfers and bystanders who assisted on the scene – prior to NSRI and emergency services arrival – contributed to saving his life.
NSRI Knysna described arriving on the scene to find the patient being well taken care of in an orderly and well controlled manner on the beach with the doctor using essential emergency medical equipment from the shark emergency kit that was immediately on hand.
Hospital staff are continuing to treat Caleb who remains in a stable but serious condition in hospital in George.
NSRI and the emergency services are continuing to convey our ongoing support and encouragement to Caleb and his family.
Declan Nurse, NSRI Knysna deputy station station commander, said: “At 14h38, Saturday, 27th June, NSRI Knysna duty crew were activated following reports of a surfer bitten by a shark while surfing at Buffalo Bay, between Knysna and Sedgefield.
“NSRI Knysna launched the sea rescue craft Jaytee III and our sea rescue vehicle with an NSRI medical team, including NSRI doctor, Dr. Grant Trollip, and WC Government Health EMS, ER24 ambulance services and All Sound Security responded to the scene.
“A local doctor, Dr Deirdre Richmond, who happened to be on the scene at the time of the incident with her husband, initiated emergency medical treatment to 20 year old Caleb Swanepoel, from Prins Albert, who is a student at the University of Cape Town (UCT), who has suffered complete amputation of his right leg above the knee and lacerations to his left leg from a shark bite.
“Fellow surfers, bystanders and the doctor assisted Caleb until NSRI arrived on the scene.
“Caleb had been rescued from the water by his brother.
“On arrival on the scene the NSRI medical team continued medical treatment to the patient who was conscious and in a serious but stable condition and he was loaded onto a surf board and carried to the parking area to an awaiting ER24 ambulance and paramedics assisted the NSRI doctor with emergency medical treatment to further stabilise the patient.
“Metro Control activated the EMS/AMS Skymed helicopter which has airlifted the patient to the George Medi-Clinic in a stable but serious condition for further treatment.
“Caleb is on a regular holiday to the area with his family.
“With two shark encounters in two days along the Southern Cape Coast, yesterday in Plettenberg Bay and today at Buffalo Bay, NSRI are urging bathers and surfers to be cautious and to make an informed decision on wether or not to enter the water although it is advised not to enter the water in the area until Municipal Authorities advise further.
“The bite marks will be investigated by Authorities in ongoing research with shark encounters of this nature and to determine the species of shark, although it is suspected that this was a White Shark.”
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