Police and the National Sea Rescue institute (NSRI) are desperately searching for an East London body-boarder feared to have become the victim of a shark attack.
The 38-year-old man had been body boarding on Tuesday, but alarm bells were raised when his board washed up on shore – with a fresh set of “bite marks”.
Shark attack feared after ‘bite marks’ found on body board
NSRI East London said in a statement on Wednesday morning that the search for the man continues, with various law enforcement and emergency rescue services deployed to assist.
“The SA Police Services, Police K-9 Search and Rescue and a Police Dive Unit are engaged in a search operation and they are joined by a private helicopter (volunteered to assist in a search by a local businessman), the EC Government Health EMS rescue helicopter and friends of the missing man, who have launched boats to assist in the Police search,” they said.
“It appears that the missing man was body boarding in the surfline at Chinsta and later in the day his body board was found washed up on the beach and the man was nowhere to be found and he remains missing.”
“The body board appears to have bite marks on the board that may be the bite marks from a shark and this is being investigated to confirm if this is the case.”
Public warned to avoid area
NSRI, as well as the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality are appealing to bathers, paddlers and surfers to be cautious along that stretch of coastline between East London and North of Chinsta in light of the disturbing incident.
They said that although at this early stage a shark attack cannot be confirmed, the public warning is carried on the assumption that this incident may be shark-related and caution is advised.
“We are appealing to anyone who may have been in the area of Chinsta Beach on Tuesday at around 11:00 to come forward if they may have noticed anything that may be related to this case and we are appealing to public members that use that stretch of coastline to keep a look out,” NSRI urged.
“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the missing man in this difficult time.”