Former Durbanite recalls how he saved his daughter from a seal attack, and got bitten on his leg

Robert Spaull. Picture: Facebook

Robert Spaull. Picture: Facebook

Published Jan 5, 2023


Durban - A former Durbanite spent part of New Year’s Day at a hospital after being bitten by a seal at the Golden Mile beach between Brittania Bay and Shelley Point in the Western Cape.

Robert Spaull who lives in Bonn, Germany has been holidaying with his family at St Helena Bay.

He said both he and his eight-year-old daughter had been swimming at the Golden Mile beach up the West Coast on New Year’s Day when they were suddenly attacked by an adult seal from behind.

“I managed to lift my daughter out the water but I was bitten.”

This week at least three people were bitten by seals at Clifton’s 4th beach.

A video of a child being attacked by a baby seal in shallow water has gone viral.

In the video the father tries to fend of the seal with help from another man.

American actress LouLou Taylor was bitten six times and warned people to be wary.

Spaull who works for the United Nations said he spent part of New Year’s Day at the Life Clinic in Vredenberg getting a tetanus shot.

Robert Spaull did not require any stiches.

Speaking about the attack Spaull said:

“It seemed like a totally random aggressive attack.

“At first I heard barking and thought a dog was behind us. Then the seal came into view on our left and I tried to get my daughter away. I used my legs to fend the seal off and that it when I was bitten.”

He said he managed to lift his daughter safely out of the seal’s reach and she was not injured.

Spaull said the seal swam off after the attack.

“The doctor who treated me said he’s seen a lot worse - often with chunks taken off. Thank God I didn’t need stitches - just a tetanus shot.”

Spaull said he though the attack was isolated until he saw the recent attacks.

Spaull and his family returned to Germany on Wednesday night.