06 June 2005

Shark attacks scuba diver

A Durbanville scuba diver has apparently become the latest victim of a shark attack in False Bay, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said on Saturday.

Henri Murray, 22, was apparently attacked about 200 to 300 metres off Millers' Point near Simonstown around 4pm.

A Metro Rescue Red Cross helicopter and an NSRI boat were scrambled to conduct a search for Murray.

A civilian catamaran craft also assisted with a search, as did the Metro Emergency Medical Services, the local SA police dive unit and other police.

"An extensive search was carried out for a missing male diver, Henri Murray, 22, from Durbanville, who has been attacked by a suspected great white shark while spear-fishing with a friend, Piet van Niekerk, 23 from Stellenbosch, who was able to get out of the water safely," Dr Cleeve Robertson, Director of Emergency Medical Services said.

Both are students at Stellenbosch University.

"The SA Police Service, Metro Emergency Medical Services, police divers, the NSRI's 'Spirit of Freemasonry', an NSRI mobile unit and the Metro Rescue Red Cross AMS helicopter and Cape Medical Response searched extensively for the missing male and found only the floatation buoy that is normally attached to the spear-gun.

The police divers also found the spear-gun, a flipper, a mask, a snorkel and parts of a weight belt belonging to Henri Murray but nothing further has been found."

Darren Zimmerman, NSRI Simonstown Station Commander said: "A southerly 10 knot wind and half metre swells and clear sea visibility assisted rescuers to achieve a thorough search of the area.

"Police divers and Metro Emergency Medical Services will resume the search on Sunday morning. NSRI Simonstown will be on alert to assist if necessary.

"It appears that Piet van Niekerk managed to shoot the shark with his spear-gun but it has not been determined if this had any effect.

"The Simonstown Police arranged trauma councillors to begin counselling Piet van Niekerk and family members of Henri Murray," Zimmerman said.

Source: www.iol.co.za


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