A 39-year-old woman was killed after being attacked by a Great White Shark during an early morning swim in South Africa.
Swimmers at Central Beach, Plettenberg Bay had been enjoying an early morning dip on Sunday when tragedy struck.
Woman Attacked in Shallow Waters
The attack took place at Central Beach, a popular tourist spot in the seaside town of Plettenberg Bay. The victim, who was from Cape Town, was on the edge of a group swimming in shallow water when the shark came from the deep end and attacked her, local authorities and witnesses said. Other swimmers and beachgoers attempted to come to her aid but were unable to save her.
The alarm was raised with the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and a rescue boat was quickly launched. The woman's body was soon discovered around 50ft from shore.
"It was a bit cloudy, but there was some sun out, and there were quite a few people taking an early dip, as the temperature was quite warm," a witness said, according to the Mirror.
"Then I just heard lots of screaming and saw people running out of the water. I guessed it was a shark attack, but I was quite a way away, and then the lifeboat turned up," the witness added. "I then heard a woman had been attacked while swimming only two or three waves out so it was quite shallow but it was said nothing could be done to help her,"
Second Fatal Shark Attack in 3 Months
Following this morning's incident, holidaymakers were urged to exercise caution in the water by Plettenberg Bay's beaches. This is the second fatal shark attack in the area in the last three months.
NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon told TimesLive: "This sadly follows a fatal shark incident at central beach on Sunday morning. NSRI Plettenberg Bay and the police were activated at 7:53am following reports of a shark incident at central beach,"
"The sea rescue craft Eric Stratford was launched. On arrival on the scene the body of what is believed to be 39-year-old female from Cape Town was recovered from the water and brought to the beach," Lambinon added. "Condolences are conveyed to the family of the deceased female."
The local mayor said the municipality would look into putting up a shark barrier. "There seems to be no change in the shark's behavior in this area so it is a bit of a mystery why we have had three fatal attacks in such a short space of time," Mayor David Swart said.