CAPE TOWN - A Cape Town man was lucky to escape from the jaws of a Great White shark after testing out new diving equipment near Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape , the NSRI said on Sunday.
Backpacker tour operator Mathieu Dasnois, 29, had organised a sightseeing trip for clients on a private boat on Saturday, said NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon. An avid and well-known spear fisherman, he asked the skipper Rob Nettleton if he could take a quick dip when out on the water to test his new equipment.
Dasnois jumped into 4m deep water at Sugarloaf Rock around 13:30 and the boat moved about 20m away. “Mathieu dived, surfaced and dived a second time when the dorsal fin of a 3.5m to 4m White Shark was seen approaching,” Lambinon said.
“The shark grabbed Mathieu’s hand which Mathieu used to fend off the shark and it appeared that the shark went past Mathieu.”
The boat immediately went to his aid but upon reaching him, the shark breached from underneath and pulled him away from the boat with Dasnois’ foot in his mouth. He managed to get his foot free and when the shark tried to breach again, the boat got in the way of its efforts.
People in the boat where able to pull him into the vessel and emergency medical treatment began immediately.
Nettleton, an NSRI volunteer for four years, carried a comprehensive medical kit onboard. Crew member Debbie Smith was also an NSRI volunteer. He was taken ashore and Eastern Cape government emergency medical services treated his injuries, before taking him to hospital.
Mathieu said in a Facebook post:
"So before rumours start seeping too much: I am a shark attack survivor. I squared up with a 4m great white. Not my most successful fight, but I'm essentially fine. Will regain full use of my entire body. Got lucky and had great help. Except for my fin, the shark took my brand new fin. Grrrr.
Meh. The sea giveth and the sea taketh away. But that guy really wanted me. Must have been something I ate. I should slow down on the crayfish."