South Africa- Durban- 10 January 2022- David Gregory survived a shark attack while fishing. Picture: Tumi Pakkies/African news Agency(ANA)
South Africa- Durban- 10 January 2022- David Gregory survived a shark attack while fishing. Picture: Tumi Pakkies/African news Agency(ANA)

Durban paddler’s close encounter with shark

By Zainul Dawood, Thobani Dlamini Time of article published Jan 10, 2022

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A DURBAN man spoke of his encounter with a shark that damaged his paddle ski while fishing near Causurina Beach on Sunday afternoon.

David Gregory, together with his friends, launched from Westbrook Beach in oThongathi for their kayak fishing expedition. Gregory had hooked a small hammerhead shark, which he began reeling to his paddleski.

With the shark on the hook and Gregory nearing it with his hands to unhook and release it, they felt a bump from the bottom right hand side on their ski.

“We think it was a Zambezi shark that came up and just, basically I suppose, trying to bite us and hit us at the back.”

“So, after we were hit, we were in a bit of a wobble but fortunately did not fall and we managed to stay on the kayak. We then could not work out a bit of damage to the cockpit. We paddled about 100 metres to a friend of ours and told him we were going back to our launch site,” said Gregory.

He said a friend warned them of the damage on their ski, and he had no choice but to paddle along.

“We made it about probably about 500 metres, before the ski was too full of water, and we could not paddle any further. We then had to climb off the kayak and into the water. We started swimming alongside the paddleski back towards the beach.”

“Our friend Mike came and helped us. He set off a flare, which was spotted. Someone sitting on the beach, I think at Westbrook, spotted it and notified the NSRI,” said Gregory.

Gregory, a 12-year veteran in the Durban waters and kayak fishman, said incidents similar to his are far and few between.

“There are not many cases of these incidents, which really did not scare us. But, they do require a bit of sharpness and vigilance. Kayak fishing has become a big sport these days, which means there are a lot of people in the water, so I suppose with the numbers, they will eventually be another incident like this,” said Gregory.

The KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board said they were investigating an incident involving a shark and a paddleskier in Durban on Sunday.

Dr Matt Dicken, of the KZNSB, said he has spoken to the paddleskier David Gregory. Dicken said it is considered a provoked incident.

“The shark went after the fish that had been hooked. We will collect all the evidence and pictures and interview those involved to determine which shark species was involved. I will examine the marks and do the necessary measurements and comparisons to match the shark jaws that we have in our collection.”

“For now, eyewitness reports point in the direction of it being a bull shark. The incident report will be filed and submitted to the International Shark Attack File in America,” said Dicken.

DAVID Gregory survived a shark attack scare while fishing. | Tumi Pakkies African News Agency (ANA)
DAVID Gregory survived a shark attack scare while fishing. | Tumi Pakkies African News Agency (ANA)
DAVID Gregory survived a shark attack scare while fishing. | Tumi Pakkies African News Agency (ANA)
THE team wade through the water after the incident with the shark. I Supplied

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THE shark bite on the paddle ski. | Supplied

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