07 June 2005

Search off for shark attack victim

The car keys of the spear fisherman feared to have been taken by a great white shark at the weekend were found on a beach at Fish Hoek, the National Sea Rescue Institute said.

Spokesman Craig Lambinon said a member of the public yesterday had found a piece of wetsuit containing the keys in a flap pocket, about 7km from where the attack took place. It is believed to have been the clothing and keys of Henri Murray, 22.

Murray was apparently attacked by the creature some 200 to 300 metres off Millers' Point, near Simon's Town, around 4pm on Saturday.

The search for Murray by the Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service, police and the NSRI continued until late yesterday afternoon, he said.

Police divers on Saturday found the spear-gun, a flipper, a mask, a snorkel and parts of a weight belt belonging to Murray.

"Private boat operators and authorities have been asked to continue to look out for any signs in the days ahead," Lambinon said.

Murray had been spear fishing with fellow University of Stellenbosch student Piet van Niekerk, who managed to escape the attack by the shark.

According to reports, the shark that cut short the life of Durbanville medical student was spotted in False Bay yesterday dragging his fishing buoy. The shark was seen at Roman Rock lighthouse in Simon's Town and Kalk Bay harbour by fishermen in the area.

Murray, had been fishing 150 metres off the shore of Miller's Point with Van Niekerk, 23, when, at 3.45pm, a great white shark tried to get at him from below. He shouted to Van Niekerk, 10m away, to swim to shore, but his friend only swam in closer to save him.

Murray managed to evade the great white twice, but on its third attempt, the shark breached, pulling him under. Van Niekerk, a few metres away, shot the shark with his speargun, but to no avail.

Van Niekerk immediately swam back to shore, took off his diving gear and ran for help.

The NSRI, Metro rescue, and Simon's Town Police and Fire Services - were contacted at about 4.15pm, and arrived on scene within 20 minutes.

After two days of looking, the search for Murray was officially called off yesterday.

Source: www.dailynews.co.za


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