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Summer shark warning for Cape Town

Western Cape

Cape Town - The City of Cape Town warned beach users on Tuesday of increased shark movement in the coming summer months.

This was the time of year when a seasonal increase was expected in shark activity inshore, spokesman Gregg Oelofse said.

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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.

In a statement, he said this seasonal change was not unique to False Bay.

“Similar trends are recorded in Gansbaai, Mossel Bay and California - all areas that white sharks are known to frequent.”

He said sightings by Shark Spotters had consistently shown increased activity from September to April, peaking in mid-summer.

“White sharks are present in the Cape's waters all year round, and the possibility of encountering one of these animals at any time is minimal. However, beach users should always remain vigilant.”

Kayakers and surf-skiers were asked to be cautious between Sunnycove and Glencairn Beach, and swimmers were urged not to enter the water off Jaegers Walk, in Fish Hoek, as this was considered a high-risk area.

He said the city had erected warning signs along Jaegers Walk.

“Surfers are asked to be especially vigilant in the areas between the Sunrise Beach and Macassar Beach area during the summer months, as research has shown these to be areas of highest shark presence in False Bay in summer.” - Sapa

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