Surfer killed by 16ft Great White shark while paddling off South African beach where National Geographic TV crew were filming

via – daily mail uk

 

Surfer killed by 16ft Great White shark while paddling off South African beach where National Geographic TV crew were filming

  • David Lilienfeld, 20, was body boarding with his brother when the predator struck
  • Documentary crew filming ‘Shark Men’ series nearby accused of endangering swimmers by luring animals close to shore

By Stewart Maclean

PUBLISHED: 11:04 EST, 19 April 2012 | UPDATED: 13:12 EST, 19 April 2012

A surfer died today after he was attacked by a Great White shark in South Africa.David Lilienfeld, 20, was body boarding in the Indian Ocean at around midday when the 16ft beast struck.

Witnesses watched in horror from the beach as Mr Lilienfeld was dragged underwater by the deadly predator in the sea at Koeel Bay east of Cape Town.

And soon after the fatal attack, the spotlight fell on a National Geographic documentary crew who were accused of risking public safety by luring sharks in close to the shore for filming.

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Predator: This pictured posted on Twitter shows a Great White shark in the ocean today near the scene of a fatal attack in South Africa which left a surfer dead
Predator: This pictured posted on Twitter shows a Great White shark in the ocean today near the scene of a fatal attack in South Africa which left a surfer dead

Victim: The body of the man attacked by a shark at Gordon's Bay in South Africa is carried away by police and a rescue team

Victim: The body of David Lilienfeld, attacked by a shark at Gordon’s Bay in South Africa, is carried away by police and a rescue team

NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon confirmed Mr Lilienfeld’s body was found on rocks on the shore and said his severed right leg had yet to be recovered.

He also confirmed that the surfer had been in the water alongside his brother, who witnessed the attack.

He said: ‘The deceased man sustained complete amputation of his right leg, below the hip, while body boarding with his brother and friends and he was rescued from the water by his brother, friends and bystanders.

‘The leg has not been recovered.’He added: ‘The brother was in the sea at the time and apparently saw the incident unfold. We don’t yet know exactly where the man was bitten, but he later washed up on some rocks.

 

‘He was examined at the scene by paramedics and is now being examined by pathologists.’

Mr Lambinon said the victim’s brother had been offered counselling following the tragedy.

Mr Lilienfeld's body was found on rocks on the shore. His severed right leg has yet to be recovered

Mr Lilienfeld’s body was found on rocks on the shore. His severed right leg has yet to be recovered

Officials said in the moments before the attack witnesses had spotted a shark believed to be a Great White and thought to measure up to 16 feet in length.

The tragedy happened at the Koeel Bay beach, a popular surfing spot which lies close to the town of Gordon’s Bay around 30 miles east of Cape Town.

Today’s attack comes after a TV documentary crew was accused of risking public safety by attracting sharks into shallow waters around Cape Town.

Experts this week expressed concern after a team from the National Geographic Channel’s ‘Shark Men’ series starting filming along the region’s False Bay coastline.

The popular show aims to debunk myths about Great Whites by allowing viewers close-up access to the beasts.

A team of scientists working for the series in South Africa had aimed to reveal details of the species by attaching trackers to several sharks and following their movements on screen.

Nothing they could do: Rescue workers prepare to transport the surfer's body. The National Geographic channel has been accused of trying to lure sharks to the shore to film for a television documentary

Nothing they could do: Rescue workers prepare to transport the surfer’s body. The National Geographic channel has been accused of trying to lure sharks to the shore to film for a television documentary

However the project raised concern among conservationists after it emerged the film crew were using chum and bait to lure sharks to their boats.

Cape Town based shark author Dirk Schmidt appealed last week to South Africa’s department of the environment over its decision to grant permits for the controversial filming to take place.

Attacked: A 16ft Great White shark killed Mr Lilienfeld while he paddled with his brother

Attacked: A 16ft Great White shark killed Mr Lilienfeld while he paddled with his brother

He said today that he had feared bringing sharks closer to the shore would increase the risk of an attack.

He said: ‘I expressed my serious concerns about the Shark Men project because I feared public safety could be put at risk if they were brought closer to the beaches for filming.

‘I went out earlier this week and watched the crew luring White sharks close their boats and then fishing them out to tag them for the project.

‘Obviously when this kind of activity is happening there is always a risk of increased shark presence in the area afterwards.

‘It’s impossible to say for sure whether the filming project is linked to today’s terrible tragedy…”

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