Cape Town – “You don’t ever want to see this kind of thing in your life,” a friend of injured surfer Stuart Anderson told News24 on Monday morning.
Anderson is recovering at a George hospital after being attacked by a shark at Morris Point in the Skulpiesbaai Nature Reserve in Stilbaai on Sunday afternoon.
“I was watching him surfing… It was a beautiful wave and I went to fetch my surfboard. I was gone for about three minutes and when I got back I just saw everyone running,” said the friend, who asked not to be named.
“I saw someone in the water and he couldn’t get up, I thought he’d had a stroke. I ran forward and then saw that he was bleeding. There was a huge, gaping flesh wound.
The witness and a fellow surfer who had been in the water about 20m from Anderson picked him up and carried him onto the beach.
Anderson was about 50m from shore when he was attacked.
“We put him on the sand and two guys came with a shark attack kit and told us what to do. I told them to bring blankets and towels. He had bite marks from his hip area, a bad knee wound and a wound to his calf muscle.
“We put a tourniquet round his groin, and then took him to NSRI headquarters where they stabilised him and got a chopper in to take him to hospital.”
The witness told News24 that the shark attack kit was kept in the parking lot where surfers usually dressed, and that local surfers had been told what to do should a shark attack happen.
“But you never think this kind of thing will happen… [Stuart] was very calm. He told me he had never been hit so hard in his life. The shark hit him while was lying on his surfboard. Stuart said at one point he could feel his foot in the shark’s mouth.”
“Everyone jumped in to help…. putting pressure on the wounds and so on… People having a braai on the beach nearby chipped in to help and gave me their baby’s blanket to help cover the wound.
“It was a moerse team effort. No one panicked. Everyone stuck together and was calm.”