John Nicholas, NSRI Port Edward station commander, said:
At 14h00, Wednesday, 22nd June, NSRI Port Edward duty crew were activated following reports of a body found floating off Palm Beach, North of Port Edward.
NSRI activated Police Search and Rescue and the Sea Rescue craft Wild Coast Sun Rescuer was launched accompanied by Police Search and Rescue officers.
On arrival on the scene 1 nautical mile off-shore of Palm Beach an unidentified body was located and recovered from the water by Police Search and Rescue divers and brought to our sea rescue station at Port Edward aboard our sea rescue craft. The body has been handed into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services and an inquest docket has been opened by Police.
At 12h05, Thursday, 23rd June, NSRI Agulhas duty crew were activated following Police reports of a man bitten by a shark off-shore of Arniston.
NSRI Agulhas, the SA Police Services, Overberg Fire and Rescue Services and WC Government Health EMS responded. While responding to the scene it was confirmed that the 43 year old man from Betty’s Bay had been brought to the harbour in Arniston aboard the boat that he and friends were spear fishing from.
It was reported that he was safe in the harbour and suffering bite wounds following a reported shark encounter, believed to be with a White shark, while spear fishing off Ryspunt.
On arrival on the scene NSRI medics and Fire and Rescue Services paramedics treated the man for multiple lacerations and an avulsion injury to his left leg and left thigh and lacerations to his right hand.
It is believed that he was bitten on the left leg and left thigh and suffered the hand injury while fending off the shark with his right hand.
Fellow spearfishermen who brought the man to Arniston harbour had used the rubber band from their spear guns to tourniquet the wounds and NSRI medics and Fire and Rescue Services paramedics then treated him with wound dressings, oxygen and intravenous fluids before an EMS ambulance transported him to hospital in a serious but stable condition.
He was stabilised at a Bredasdorp hospital before being airlifted by the EMS/AMS Skymed helicopter in a serious but stable condition to a hospital in Cape Town.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE