KNYSNA NEWS - Following the shark attack of a teenage surfer at Buffel's Bay this afternoon, the NSRI issued a press release with the following details.
Declan Nurse, NSRI Knysna deputy station station commander, said: "At 14:38, Saturday June 27, NSRI Knysna duty crew were activated following reports of a surfer bitten by a shark while surfing at Buffels Bay, between Knysna and Sedgefield.
"NSRI Knysna launched the sea rescue craft Jaytee III and our sea rescue vehicle with an NSRI medical team, including NSRI doctor, Dr Grant Trollip, and WC Government Health EMS, ER24 ambulance services while All Sound Security also responded to the scene.”
According to Nurse, a local doctor happened to be on the scene at the time of the incident with her husband.
“Dr Dee Richmond initiated emergency medical treatment to 19- year-old Caleb Swanepoel, from Prins Albert, who is a student at the University of Cape Town (UCT), who suffered complete amputation of his right leg above the knee and lacerations to his left leg from the shark bite,” said Nurse.
According to him fellow surfers and bystanders assisted the doctor until NSRI arrived on the scene.
"Caleb was rescued from the water by fellow surfers. On arrival at the scene the NSRI medical team continued giving medical treatment to the patient who was conscious and in a serious, but stable condition and he was loaded onto a surf board and carried to the parking area to an awaiting ER24 ambulance and paramedics assisted the NSRI doctor with emergency medical treatment to further stabilise the patient.”
Nurse said that Metro Control activated the EMS/AMS Skymed helicopter which airlifted the patient to the George Medi-Clinic in a stable but serious condition for further treatment.
Caleb is on a regular holiday to the area with his family.
"With two shark encounters in two days along the Southern Cape Coast, yesterday in Plettenberg Bay and today at Buffalo Bay, NSRI are urging bathers and surfers to be cautious and to make an informed decision on whether or not to enter the water although it is advised not to enter the water in the area until Municipal Authorities advise further,” said Nurse.
However since this comment all beaches in Knysna including those in Sedgefield have been declared closed by the Knysna municipal manager, Grant Easton.
"The bite marks will be investigated by authorities in ongoing research with shark encounters of this nature to determine the species of shark, although it is suspected that this was a white shark,” said Nurse.