A Port Elizabeth teenager was bitten by a shark while surfing at a popular spot in Plettenberg.
The attack follows an alert on Friday by the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) warning of shark spottings along the Garden Route.
NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon said the NSRI Plettenberg Bay crew responded to reports of a person being bitten at The Waves at Keurbooms at about 5.10pm on Saturday.
“On arrival on the scene a 14-year-old Port Elizabeth male teenager was found already on the beach with bite marks and bite lacerations to his right calf sustained from a shark bite while surfing,” Lambinon said.
“He was treated by NSRI medics and by paramedics on the scene for lacerations and bite marks to his right calf before being transported to hospital by ambulance in a stable condition where he will received sutures.”
Lambinon said the teenager, who was hospitalised overnight as a precaution, was surfing with two other surfers at the time.
“At the back-line he turned to catch a wave when he saw a fin approaching towards him, he felt a bump and he felt a bite on his right calf,” he said.
“He caught a wave to the beach where he was met by his dad, who had witnessed the incident, and by bystanders who rendered assistance while raising the alarm.
“Shark researchers will investigate to determine the species and size of the shark but initial indications lean towards the bite being made by a [great] white shark of 2m but this has not been confirmed.”
On Friday, the NSRI issued a shark alert along the Southern Cape coastline between Nature’s Valley and Mossel Bay, and in particular around the Plettenberg Bay inshore area, due to a high number of shark spottings.
The increase in shark inshore presence at this time of the year is part of the normal aggregation of these sharks to take advantage of naturally occurring prey like seals and fish close inshore.