Great white shark kills David Lilienfeld near Cape Town. He was a champion bodyboarder and just 20 years old. On Thursday, he and his brother were enjoying the waves when a shark about 15 feet long took off Lilienfeld’s leg. Onlookers saw the shark when it was a short ways from the boys, but they were too far away to get their attention. They watched in horror as the young man was attacked and shaken by the shark.
One witness, Lucille Bester said, “The next thing we saw the shark come from under one of the guys and grab him. The shark shook him and then let him go. The surfer was screaming – it was terrible!”
Yusuf George, from Mitchells Plain, had pulled over to smoke a cigarette when the incident occurred, “When I got there, they said there was a huge shark in the water. We were trying to shout to the boys to say there was a shark. But it was too late.”
“The next minute I saw the shark circle this guy. The brother was on his way out to catch a wave, and his brother called out to him. We just saw blood all over. The brother wanted to go in and help, but he couldn’t because the shark still had his brother. The second time the shark took him, it took the boy down with him. A few minutes later the bodyboard surfaced. And then the body was washed on to the rocks. It was terrible to witness. I’m still shaking (six hours later). I felt so helpless – I can still hear him shouting for help…”
For thirty minutes after the attack the shark could be seen in the water going up and down the coast. It is said that a program had been filmed further out in the water and that chumming may have been a factor in the attack. Chumming is when a large amount of chum is tossed into the waters to attrack great white sharks and in this case it would have been for filming purposes. Whether this was a factor in the attack is yet to be determined, but the controversy is definitely brewing.
Lilienfeld was very gifted at what he did. He placed third in the South African Bodyboarding Association’s 2011 pro rankings and competed for South Africa in November’s world games. His father told police, “This was his life, and he died doing what he loved.”
Prayers going out to this precious family.