Shark Attack: South Africa, very shallow water


Hugh Paxton’s blog has learned that a South African has been killed by a shark in South Africa’s rural Eastern Cape. The interesting thing about this attack was that the victim, Lungisani Msungubana, was frollicking in waist deep water and surrounded by lots of other people enjoying the splash the fun and the swim. The shark struck him alone, ignored the other swimmers, and bit the guy repeatedly. Station commander for the National Sea Rescue Insititute, John Costello, said the victim sustained “multiple traumatic lacerations to his torso, arms and legs.” Many shark attacks take place in shallow (usually murky) water so the attack isn’t unusual in that respect. But what does make this incident unusual is that it singled out Lungisani from a crowd of other bathers and once it commenced its attack it wasn’t a case of ‘bite and flight’ – it was a dogged, relentless assault. I associate this sort of bevaiour with tiger sharks. They take a long time to make up their minds but once committed to a target they do not break off. The thing is I’m not sure that there are tigers off this stretch of coastline.

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