"The entire Wild Coast is subject to intense shark activity… the sea is not for swimming."
A bodyboarder from East London on South Africa’s eastern cape, missing for over a week and whose board was found washed up on a beach, was likely killed by a Great White shark, an examination of teeth marks has revealed.
Robert Frauenstein, who was thirty-eight and a week away from getting married, was surfing a joint called at Cintsa on the Wild Coast, that hit of coast from East London in the south to the border of KwaZulu-Natal in the north.
Frauenstein disappeared from the lineup; his distinctive pink and yellow bodyboard was found later in the day marked by bite marks.
A rep for the family wrote on Facebook,
“The teeth marks in his bodyboard are confirmed as that of a very large great white shark, possibly the same shark spotted from the air earlier in the week. We take comfort in the fact that Robert was doing what he loved and that his untimely demise would have been as swift, painless and without struggle as anyone could hope for.”
Of the 248 unprovoked shark attacks since records began in South Africa in 1905, 103 have come from the Wild Coast.
A tourist website warns visitors, “that the entire Wild Coast is subject to intense shark activity…There’s two damn good reasons why indigenous inhabitants of the coast historically avoided the water, unlike the heavy coastal utilization up the African east coast: (1) rip currents prevailing in an area where the coastal shelf plunges abruptly, and very close to land; and (2) sharks. Port St Johns has acquired the miserable reputation of a totally-out-of-proportion share of global shark attacks: it is THE hotspot. But don’t be fooled: the entire Wild Coast shares the same features. Cape Town styled shark-spotting won’t work (water’s too murky; different types of shark); and KZN-style shark nets won’t work (rip currents; besides sound conservation reasons). Most attacks have been on surfers or lifeguards: apparently the boards and lifeguard rafts resemble prey (seals – there are seals around here?), and the only way to know is to take a bite – a big bite. But that little comfort zone got blown-out in the last attack, which was in a gentle little estuary stream, with lots of swimmers around: the victim (mauled and churned into blood) was in knee-deep water. That’s right: knee-deep, out of the surf. What’s to do? Stay ankle deep, hit the pools, or just admire the view and the environment. The sea is really not for swimming.”