A shark believed to be a great white shark attacked a surf ski paddler in Cape Town, South Africa.
Ben Swart was paddling with two friends in Keurbooms Lagoon at Plettenberg Bay December 19 around 7 a.m. when the shark apparently breached.
The Local National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) released a statement that the 55-year-old was hit from below the water by an estimated 13-foot (4m) shark. The shark hit the board with such force Swart was knocked off his surf ski and into the air.
He was uninjured in the incident and was able to swim back to his ski, which was still floating despite having a large bite-sized chunk missing. A group of observers saw the shark around 30 seconds after the incident occurred.
“Ben was able to swim back to his damaged surf ski which still had a fair amount of buoyancy. He lay down on the surf ski while his two friends rafted their surf skis alongside the damaged surf ski and began gently paddling toward the shore while calling NSRI Plettenberg Bay, raising the alarm and requesting assistance,” NSRI station commander Marc Rodgers said in a statement.
As the three friends moved toward the shore, a NSRI rescue boat picked up the group and transported them to shore.
“Photos of the surf ski, measurements and an account of the incident will be sent to research authorities for investigation to determine the size and the species of the shark,” Rodgers said.