An Austrian tourist was killed by a shark while swimming at a beach in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province.
Friedrich Burgstaller and his wife Margit, were part of a tour group who stopped at the second beach of Port St. Johns for a swim. The beach did not have lifeguards and signs were posted to avoid swimming.
However, the 66-year-old, along with many other choose to enter the water. He was waist deep in the dark brown water when he was bitten by a suspected 7 foot (2m) bull shark.
Catherine Yazbe told The Austrian Times “I saw people running towards the beach and other people running out of the water shouting that the man had been attacked. There were a lot of people in the water as there always is over a long weekend although most had not gone that far out.”
She went on to say Mr. Burgstaller’s body was left floating for half an hour and was bitten by what appeared to be multiple sharks before being brought to shore by a rescue boat.
“It was the worst I have ever seen, it looked like there were a number of sharks that had attacked him and a large part of his body below the waist had gone. It definitely wasn’t a one-off bite.” Yazbe added.
The incident did not stop swimmers from playing in the water. “It was incredible. People were there in the waist-deep water, swimming, while the body was still being taken out of the water.” local resident Michael Gatke said.
Apparently the area is know to be a breading ground for bull sharks.