It’s a sad story, but at the moment it’s at the forefront of every surfers mind after Mick Fanning’s shark attack at the J-Bay open last week.
Local 74 year old J-Bay resident, Burgert Van De Westhuizen, was attacked on the shoreline whilst swimming. According to witnesses, a 3-4 metre Great White Shark attacked the ocean swimmer and then dragged him into deeper water.
The fatal shark attack took place at the point and local surfer Terry Oliver paddled over to the ongoing shark attack on his sea kayak, which is obviously a lot smaller than a 4 metre Great White Shark. When he got to there, the shark was taking bites out of the deceased swimmer. Oliver starting hitting the massive shark with his paddle, but the Great White wasn’t deterred.
Local surfer Koffie Jacobs was an eyewitness and said that whilst the shark attack was happening there were still a group of groms surfing on the inside break.
It was a heavy scene
When we first got the call we didn’t know what to expect, but this situation was bizarre. The attack was still happening 15 minutes later, and no one else seemed to know about it.
Brenton Williams, a local ocean swimmer was also quoted:
The swimmer who was attacked today was a highly experienced ocean swimmer and swam along the coast more than anybody else in Jeffreys Bay
We are all aware of the risks involved with ocean swimming and the danger of a shark attack is something we cannot control but we do minimise the risk by not swimming if there are birds and dolphins feeding or if sharks have been spotted in the area.
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends.
The beach has since been closed.
A local Supertubes surfer who wants to remain anonymous was quoted as saying:
Ya save sharks, save sharks, they’re awesome, amazing and don’t eat humans… Stupid idiots! Kill them all, even the babies… RIP swimmer from JBay!