Shark attack kills S.African surfer

23rd August 2011, Comments 0 comments

A South African surfer died after a shark attacked him Tuesday in Plettenberg Bay, off the country's southern coast, the National Sea Rescue Institute said.

The 49-year-old man was pulled from the water with multiple shark bites and rushed to the hospital, where doctors tried unsuccessfully to revive him, said spokesman Craig Lambinon.

"He had bite marks to his leg, thigh and groin area," Lambinon told AFP.

"After all efforts to resuscitate him were exhausted, he was declared dead."

The incident comes on the heels of a number of headline-grabbing shark attacks.

The Seychelles last week closed down beaches after a shark savaged a British honeymooner as his horrified spouse looked on, the country's second fatal attack in 15 days.

On Russia's Pacific coast, a shark mauled a 16-year-old boy last Thursday, a day after a man lost his forearms defending his wife in a similar attack.

And in the Caribbean, a woman vacationing in Puerto Rico received a 30-centimetre (foot-long) shark bite last Wednesday.

Last year, 79 people worldwide were attacked by sharks, with six fatalities -- the highest number of attacks in a decade and a 25-percent increase from 2009, according to researchers at the University of Florida.

Marine biologists have said there is little research on the causes of shark attacks, but that the increase may be caused by over-fishing and cheap air travel that makes beaches more accessible.

© 2011 AFP

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