Shark attack Fish Hoek: The shark attack survival guide

Dalene Ingham-Brown 28 September 2011

The millenium has seen the number of shark attacks more than double themselves. The most recent shark attack happened in Fish Hoek, Cape Town and its about time a little light was shed on the matter. Find out everything you need to know about shark attacks and how to survive a deadly encounter with the king of the sea.

City Shark Spotting Flags

If you are on the beach and curious as to what the shark status is, below is the flag warning system guide to keeping you in the know.


Facts about Shark Attacks

  • Since 1990 only 26% of attacks have resulted in serious injury and only 15% were fatal.
  • On average one serious shark-inflicted injury happens every year and one shark-inflicted fatality every 1.2 years along some 2000 km of coastline from the Mozambique border to Table Bay (Cape Town).
  • Nearly 25% of attacks in Cape waters have been by raggedtooth sharks Carcharias taurus (sand tiger/gray nurse shark).
  • In the 1990’s there were only 6 shark attack incidents.
  • Between 2000-2009 the above statistic doubled to 12 shark attack incidents.


Why do sharks attack people?

According to BBC News, sharks don’t intentionally attack humans, they think they're biting a fish or a seal. This explains why most shark attacks are non-fatal. When the shark realises that the prey is human, they swim away. Shark attacks also happen when humans swim in areas of the sea which they consider their own. In cases like these, sharks attack to defend their territory.

How do you survive a shark attack?

Video source: Howcast

Fish Hoek Shark Attack - September 2011

Mere hours ago, a shark attacked, 43 year old, Michael Cohen while swimming at Fish Hoek beach in Cape Town. Now in a critical condition, the man was in the water even though the beach had been closed.

"City of Cape Town shark spotters had closed the beach a few times during the morning after spotting a shark, and it was closed at the time of the attack," said National Sea Rescue Institute spokesperson Craig Lambinon. Due to Eskom's power failure the shark siren was unable to sound in order to alert the swimmer of the shark's presence. However, according to Lambinon, the shark spotters told Cohen repeatedy not to enter the water.

After the attack on the Clovelly side of Fish Hoek beach, the man had most of his right leg amputated, as well as partial amputation of his left foot.

Lambinon said the man was fairly far out to sea when he was attacked. The type of shark involved in the attack has not yet been identified, however, the cold-blooded predator was caught on camera after the attack:


Video source: iafrica News


Information sources:


BBC News

Save our Seas Foundation


Shark Attack Survivors