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article imageShark kills surfer off South Africa's East Coast

By Christopher Szabo     Jan 15, 2012 in World
Pretoria - A swimmer has died at a notorious beach on the South African East Coast, after being attacked on his surfboard by a Zambezi Shark.
News24 reports the attack took place off Second Beach in the Eastern Cape Province, also known as Transkei, a region of great natural beauty. The beach is at Port St Johns, a popular surfing and swimming beach. Eastern Cape Health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said Sunday, 15 January, 2012,
”This afternoon a swimmer from Port St Johns was attacked by a shark and struggled with it for about five minutes using his surf board. A surfer who was next to him during the ordeal described the swimmer as being brave by fighting it. Unfortunately it injured him severely in both arms and in the chest."
An eyewitness raised the alarm. The spokesman went on to say:
"A doctor who was amongst the swimmers tried to save his life along with paramedics who arrived at the beach. The man died on the way to a local health centre."
Kupelo added:
"Second beach is notorious for shark attacks and I am told that there is no [shark] net there."
The Zambezi shark, while not as large as the more notorious Great White, can reach 4 meters (13 feet) in length. It is known to swim up rivers and is known under many names, besides Zambezi or Bull shark, including Ganges River shark, Fitzroy Creek whaler, Lake Nicaragua shark, freshwater whaler, Swan River whaler, cub shark, and shovelnose shark, according to Wikipedia.
Another report says Port St Johns is one of the most deadly places for shark attacks, with five deaths in five years, three of them in 2009. Guest house owner Michael Gatcke said:
"We're probably the most unsafe beach in the world at the moment."
One theory is that the blood of ceremonial animal sacrifices by traditional healers attracts the sharks, still another is a curse on surfers and lifesavers, who have been the only victims so far.
The report said there were many theories but none that could be proven.
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