A surfer survived a shark attack in the sea off Port Alfred on Tuesday, police said.
Brendan Denton (35) was surfing with a friend at East Beach at 10.30am when the shark attacked him about 100m from the shore, said Captain Mali Govender.
“He suddenly felt something pulling him underwater,” said Govender, who spoke to him in the Port Alfred Hospital afterwards.
“He thought it might be his friend playing the fool with him.”
The second time it happened, he turned around and saw his feet in the shark’s jaw.
Denton wrestled with the shark and it let go of his feet, but it grabbed hold of the leash attaching his ankle to the surfboard and started swimming out to sea with him in tow.
He released the leash and when the surfboard popped out of the sea three metres away a few moments later, he was able to get back on it and paddle to safety.
His friend and other surfers, who had heard his screams and splashing, helped him to a doctor.
Govender said Denton’s injuries looked serious.
When she asked him how he was doing, he told her he was “okay”.
As he was wheeled into theatre for surgery, she told him she could see his feet. He replied he could not feel them.
Govender described the water at East beach as “very murky”.
“You normally get sharks in water like that,” she said, adding that the National Sea Rescue Institute had since closed the beach. — Sapa