It’s not every day a fully clothed man will voluntarily swim out to have a close up look at a shark.
But on Saturday January 13 this is what happened at Surfer’s Corner in Muizenberg.
The man caused all manner of concern among the beachgoers who thought he was drowning. Social media flooded with questions about whether a body had been collected by lifesavers, some people said they were certain the body had been half eaten by the shark.
The truth, as it turns out, was a lot stranger.
Sarah Waries, CEO at Shark Spotters, set the record straight.
“There was a shark sighting in Muizenberg today. A member of the public reported a shark at Bailey’s cottage and so the spotter cleared the beach. We then spotted and tracked a two-metre long bronze whaler shark moving across the back line, using the spotter on the mountain and the drone,” she said.
The shark was following a school of bait fish in the area.
“When we cleared the beach initially there was one person who did not leave the water so we repeatedly set off the siren; but he refused to get out of the water,” she said.
“What beachgoers saw from shore was not a shark but the person swimming. Members of the public were concerned that he was drowning because he did not come ashore so we contacted the lifesavers who went out on their jet ski to assist the person,” Ms Waries said.
However, when the lifesavers arrived, they found the person was fully clothed, including shoes and jacket, and was belligerent. He did not want to leave the water, he wanted to see the shark.”
The jet ski circled round him and then decided that he was not of sound mind so the lifeguards removed him from the water and handed him to law enforcement on the beach.
“This type of behaviour is extremely irresponsible as shark bites have significant impacts on the local economy and community. We urge people to adhere to all warnings issued by shark spotters and lifesavers,” Ms Waries said.