39-Year-Old Woman Killed in Horrifying Shark Attack

by Tia Bailey
Photo by Auscape/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A shark attack in South Africa left a 39-year-old woman dead. This is the second fatal shark encounter in the last few months in the area.

Officials shut down the beaches around Plettenberg Bay following the attack earlier this morning. The woman, who officials believe was visiting from Cape Town, was in the water early in the morning.

While she was swimming, a shark latched onto her with other swimmers nearby as witnesses. The woman screamed as the shark dragged her underneath the water’s surface.

Everyone in the water rushed to the shore to safety. According to The U.S. Sun, this is the second fatal attack in the area since late June. A shark killed Bruce Wolov on June 28 while he was swimming at Sanctuary Beach.

A witness spoke to rescuers.

“It was a bit cloudy but there was some sun out and there were quite a few people taking an early dip as the temperature was quite warm,” they said. “Then I just heard lots of screaming and saw people running out of the water. I guessed it was a shark attack but I was quite a way away and then the lifeboat turned up. I then heard a woman had been attacked while swimming only two or three waves out so it was quite shallow but it was said nothing could be done to help her.”

Craig Lambinon, a spokesperson for South Africa’s National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), shared a statement. He shared that they discovered the woman’s body about 50 feet away from the shore.

“The sea rescue craft Eric Stratford was launched,” Craig said. “On arrival at the scene, the body of a believed to be 39-year-old female from Cape Town was recovered from the water and brought to the beach.”

South Africa Southern Cape Coastline Suffers from Second Fatal Shark Attack

Bitou Municipality Mayor David Swart spoke about the situation as well.

“We have never had a fatality at Plettenberg until 2011 and now we have had three with two in the last three months,” Swart said. “We are researching into and looking at putting up a shark barrier and increased warning signage and starting our lifeguard’s season a month earlier than usual. There seems to be no change in the shark’s behaviour in this area so it is a bit of a mystery why we have had three fatal attacks in such a short space of time.”

The mayor encourages all residents and visitors to swim with caution in the environment.

“While Plettenberg Bay is renowned for its natural beauty, both on land and in the sea, we need to constantly remind ourselves that we are visitors in nature and need to exercise caution when out in the natural environment,” he said. “We urge all participants in water activities at sea to exercise caution, be aware of their surroundings and to heed any warnings from anyone in a position of authority.”