We speak to shark victim’s partner
DEBRA PAINE, partner of Lloyd Skinner, the man taken by a great white shark at Fish Hoek earlier this week, had just arrived at the beach to fetch him when she saw the commotion.
Lifeguard Fred Wagenvoorde was in the tower around 3pm on Tuesday.
“I saw the fin about 3m away. I ran down shouting ‘ shark, shark’.”
Wagenvoorde said Paine had come up to him to ask what had happened.
“She had come down to the beach to look for him. I told her there had been a shark attack and she said she was looking for her husband.
“We had his gear – his shorts, shirt, towel, slip-slops and the box from his goggles – which she identified.”
Wagenvoorde said Paine had started to shake when she realised the implications.
Paine told Weekend Argus yesterday that she was coping “under the circumstances”.
Skinner’s family will make a statement at the weekend.
Yesterday Wagenvoorde was back on duty, despite nightmares after seeing the attack.
Meanwhile shark researcher Alison Kock, of the Save our Seas Foundation, said the shark that killed the Zimbabwean was probably hunting a large school of fish nearby. A combination of factors had probably contributed to the attack.
She said Skinner, 37, was at least 100m out – deeper than any of the 12 to 15 bathers in the water at the time – and there was a big school of fish near him at the time.
“The water was also very warm and bait fish love those conditions, so the shark was likely in hunting mode. Great whites follow their prey.”
Kock said Skinner was swimming at the time of the attack – not standing as previously reported. After the first strike, the shark made a further five or six passes before moving off towards Kalk Bay.
The City of Cape Town has said the attack on Skinner, an engineer from Harare and a UCT MBA graduate, could not have been avoided.
“All indications are that the shark emerged from deep water, where it was not visible, and attacked the victim within seconds,” it said in a statement.
Skinner’s parents flew into the city from Zimbabwe soon after the attack.
On Thursday, life guards dashed down to Clovelly from Fish Hoek beach to alert a body boarder that a shark was 500m from him, heading for him.
The man had missed hear- ing three shark alarms.
At Fish Hoek yesterday, few swimmers braved the water.
One, Vincent Fredericks, said he wasn’t worried about sharks – but his girlfriend Heidi Ernstzen scanned the water with binoculars from the catwalk while he swam.
Fredericks, from Muizenberg, said he swam at Fish Hoek almost daily.
“If a shark must take me I’d go with him. I even told the car guard if I don’t come back he can have my car.”
Following the attack, the city has recommended:
Making shark information signs more prominent.
Erecting extra temporary signs when lots of great whites are about.
More emergency training for its shark-spotting staff.
Permanent signs between the Galley Restaurant and Jagger’s Walk, indicating that sharks make swimming unsafe.
Advising surfers and kayakers to use personal shark shields.
FATAL ATTACK: Shark researcher Alison Kock on Jagger’s Walk in Fish Hoek, in line with the point where Lloyd Skinner was attacked this week.