Teen surfer 'lucky to be alive' after great white shark attack in Cape Town


A teen surfer is "lucky to be alive" after being attacked by a great white shark in Cape Town, South Africa.

Thomas Browne, 19, was surfing with two friends at Die Plaat, just west of De Kelders in Walker Bay, on Monday morning.

According to the Independent Online News, witness Brian Kilbey told the Cape Argus: "It was about 8.45am, with around head-high waves. The others had paddled out, but I was the last one to paddle out – I was still stretching on the beach – when I heard a shout. I looked up and couldn't work out what was going on at first. There was a thrashing – evidently a tail fin – very near to one of the surfers."

Kilbey estimated the shark to be about three metres long.

He continued: "I could see from the distance between the tail and the mouth that it was a decent-sized shark.

"(The surfer) sat down and we checked the wound, on his left thigh.

"What seems to have happened is that it first bumped him and then turned round to bite. The lower jaw got the board and the top jaw his thigh."

Thomas' father Jeremy told Eye Witness News: "They went into the water and the shark bit him from behind. He was bitten on his left thigh but he's fine. He went into surgery and is now recovering in hospital.

"He's obviously very fortunate it was nothing more serious."

Alison Kock, research manager for Shark Spotters, Cape Town, said: "According to a witness report, at approximately 9am a 19-year-old boy was surfing with friends when a shark approached him while he was sitting on his board waiting for a wave. The shark, estimated to be between 3m to 4m, bit him on the left thigh."

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