A kayaker was knocked into the water by a shark off the coast near Durban, South Africa.
Murray van Wyk was fishing with friends February 6 off Eastmoor Crescent Beach when he hooked a tuna fish, only to be quickly relieved of his catch and knocked off his kayak by an eager shark.
His friend Owen McMillan had his camera on, and although he wasn’t close to van Wyk he filmed the event from a distance.
“He was busy reeling in his catch, a tuna, and he saw a large splash near the kayak. He thought it was a shark and I didn’t believe him. It wasn’t until I was paddling toward him I just saw this large shark launch itself out of the water knocking him off,” McMillan told Northglen News.
“He popped up out of the water immediately and I went over to him. He was lying prone on his upturned kayak. Thankfully he was unharmed but everything he had was knocked out of kayak.
“When we reached the shore, we realized how much the kayak had been damaged. We think it was a tiger shark based on the markings. Last month we spotted a tiger shark’s fin come out of the water while we were paddling in the area,” McMillan added.
While van Wyk did not appear injured, his kayak sustained some serious damage. From the video evidence, it appears the shark broke the seams of the kayak.
It is likely the shark was chasing after the tuna and hit the kayak by mistake.
Fortunately, van Wyk had a friend close by to assist him back to shore.
Open water kayaking can be a dangerous sport, and it is always important to take safety precautions. Not only is having a buddy important, but it is equally important to wear a life jacket and have proper safety equipment including a flare and a GPS locator.
There have been a total of 10 shark attack bites in 2017, none of which were fatal. Two with no injury have been reported worldwide. Three were reported in the US, all of which occurred in Florida. Three occurred in Australia, one of which had no injury and none have been fatal.