Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

People must heed the closure of southern Cape beaches because of shark sightings, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) urged on Wednesday.

Municipal authorities have closed beaches between Maoli Beach‚ Sedgefield‚ and Brenton-on-Sea because a large number of sharks have been spotted.

The closures took effect from Tuesday, said NSRI Knysna station commander Jerome Simonis.

The coastline would be monitored by helicopter on Wednesday.

"NSRI urges the public to heed the municipal authorities’ decision which was made in the interests of public safety‚" said Simonis.

He encouraged the media and the public to follow official notifications posted by these municipal authorities.

TMG Digital reported last Monday that Ben Swart‚ 55‚ from Pretoria, was knocked off his surf-ski by what was thought to be a four-metre great white shark.

He and two friends, paddlers Nick Bester and Ronald Pronk, called the NSRI for help from behind the breaker line off-shore of Keurbooms Lagoon just after 7am.

Station commander Marc Rodgers said rescuers found the three men had rafted their surf-skis together and were gently paddling towards the shoreline.

"One of the surf-skis was found to be damaged from a shark bite‚" he said.

The men, who were on holiday in Plettenberg Bay‚ were paddling from Central Beach to Keurbooms about 400m off-shore‚ well behind the back-line.

Asked if he would get back in the water‚ Swart said: "There is no doubt I will be back … this is a freak incident .… I’ll certainly be back‚ probably tomorrow." He said he was getting a replacement paddle-ski.

TMG Digital

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