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Surfer tried to fight off shark - witness

Eastern Cape

Johannesburg - A 25-year-old man was killed by a shark at Second Beach in Port St Johns on Sunday, the Eastern Cape health department said.

“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,” said spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo.

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140110 CONDOLENCES have started pouring in for the family of a tourist killed by a shark on Tuesday and at the same time a review detailing his attack has been compiled. The review is expected to be released within a few days. Lloyd Skinner, 37, an engineer from Harare, Zimbabwe, and a UCT MBA graduate, was killed in front of a number of beach-goers two days ago while swimming at Fish Hoek. On Skinner’s Facebook account yesterday a friend, Gayle Reid, said: “Devastated by the news about Lloyd Skinner, taken by a shark on Fish Hoek beach yesterday, such a wonderful guy, so so sorry, love to his family.” Another friend, Cheryl Diane Nicholls, wrote: “My dear Skinner family, so sad and crushed, my love and thoughts and prayers are with you all.” Clint Skinner, a relative, replied that the wishes and thoughts were “all we needed”. He said relatives, including Skinner’s parents, John and Maggie, were flying to Cape Town. Skinner’s Facebook account said he was in a relationship with Debra Paine. A woman was at the beach at the time of the attack, but The Mercury was unable to confirm her identity yesterday. She was receiving trauma counselling yesterday. Gregg Oelofse, head of the city’s environmental policy and strategy, said he had last night completed a review, based on information from witnesses, rescuers and others, on Tuesday’s attack. He said it would be made public possibly by tomorrow. Oelofse and Western Cape Finance, Economic Development and Tourism MEC Alan Winde extended their condolences to Skinner’s family. Ian Klopper, the National Sea Rescue Institute’s helicopter duty commander, said an intense search was underway to try to find Skinner’s body. He said a number of people had called in to say they had seen body parts in the water, but rescuers had not found |anything. “We don’t expect to find anything,” Klopper said. Klopper said Tuesday’s attack was “very out of character” as sharks usually bit their prey only once. However, in Skinner’s case the shark, according to witnesses, went for him twice |and then pulled him away with it. Klopper said there had been four shark sightings in the Fish Hoek area early yesterday. The City of Cape Town yesterday issued warnings to bathers, saying they should remain in shallow water, and should not swim alone.

“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,” he said.

A second witness raised the alarm for other swimmers to leave the water.

“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.”

“Second Beach is notorious for shark attacks and I am told that there is no (shark) net there,” said Kupelo. - Sapa

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