Swimmer eaten by a huge Great White shark

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Swimmer eaten by a huge Great White shark

Fiddling with his swimming goggles as he strolled across one of Cape Town's most popular beaches, Lloyd Skinner did not notice anything amiss.

With temperatures in the 90s, the sand was packed with families enjoying the delights of the South African summer.

The sea appeared calm - perfect to escape the heat. But as he waded out, something terrible started to happen. A strange ripple effect circled him in the water. On the beach, people started waving their towels and shouting at him desperately.

Lloyd Skinner, a 37-year-old engineer and marathon runner from Zimbabwe, was neck deep in water when a large shark - believed to be a Great White - attacked twice and pulled him under, leaving behind his goggles and a dark patch of blood in the water.

Witnesses spoke of seeing a fin and blood as he disappeared under the water.

A great white shark struck the 37-year-old Skinner with devastating force. The world's deadliest coldblooded predator then turned and, amid thrashing water, pulled its human prey under the waves.

Astonishingly, all was not lost. An endurance runner and fitness fanatic, Skinner somehow managed to struggle to the surface as the sea turned red around him.

He disappeared again moments later. The shark simply circled and struck again, knocking the man into the air before pulling him under once more. He has not been seen since.
... Quote:
Holy shit. We just saw a gigantic shark eat what looked like a person in front of our house. It was this giant shadow. . . it sort of came out of the water and took this colorful lump and went off with it. You could see its whole jaw wrap around the thing - which turned out to be a person. That shark was huge. Like dinosaur huge."
witness Gregg Coppen posted on Twitter just after the incident.

Other witnesses described the horror as the “very big” shark first bit the man, then came back and dragged him away.
... Quote:
We saw the shark come back twice. It had the man's body in its mouth and his arm was in the air. Then the sea was full of blood.
said Phyllis McCartain from Arundel in Sussex.

One onlooker, Kathy Geldenhuys, noted that her husband commented just moments before the attack that Skinner seemed too far from the other swimmers and would be unreachable if a shark was spotted.

“It then swam off, turned around very quickly and took the remainder of the body on his return and then he came out of the water and went off. Immediately there was a sea of blood,” she explained.

A spokesman for the National Sea Institute told The Guardian that it’s unlikely the victim’s remains will be recovered, though rescue boats and a helicopter spent several days searching for signs.

Beachgoers at Fish Hoek were only able to walk ankle deep in the water as the white and black shark flags waved around the beach and temperatures soared above 30 degrees Celsius in the city.

"You've got to be stupid to get in the water right now," Fish Hoek resident Eddie Roth said.

"There are a lot of sharks around at the moment."

Roth, who paddles regularly around Fish Hoek, said he and wife Allison had seen a four-metre-long great white beyond the kelp near the rocks on the side of the beach on Wednesday morning.

"We heard a shark and we came to take a look. When we got to the beach we saw a four-metre great white swimming very close to the rocks. It was just beyond the kelp."

Roth said he would keep on paddling despite the attack.

"It's a risk every time you get in the water, but normally there's very little chance of being attacked by a shark."

The city meanwhile appealed to bathers to remain in shallow water, no deeper than the waist.

People should not swim alone, but rather stay in a group. All swimmers should make sure there is a friend or family member who can see them while they are in the water.

The city will conduct an extensive review of the attack.

"Once all the information has been compiled, it will be made available to the public", said Gregg Oelofse, the head of the city's environmental policy and strategy department.

"The City would like to extend its sincere condolences to the victim's family. As a City, we pride ourselves on having one of the most beautiful coastlines for everyone to enjoy and events like yesterday are particularly sad for Cape Town."

A howling southeaster wind had caused poor visibility at Fish Hoek and other beaches on Tuesday afternoon, when the attack took place.

Shark spotters from the city's Shark Spotting Programme, on duty at Fish Hoek beach at the time of the attack, had raised the black flag to warn the public of poor visibility. The last fatal shark attack in Cape Town was in 2005. Spotters have reported more than 570 shark sightings since November 2004.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/...



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By netchicken: posted on 12-3-2010

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