Buffalo City metro officials have warned beachgoers to avoid Nahoon beach after a large shark was spotted by lifeguards in the area over the weekend.
BCM spokesperson, Samkelo Ngwenya, confirmed on Monday that a shark had been seen by lifeguards. The metro had since put up warning signs.
Ngwenya said beaches were still closed due to a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) for lifeguards. He pleaded with residents not to go into the sea.
“After spotting the shark, our lifeguards activated the protocols, and these include advising people to evacuate and also putting up signage that tells beachgoers the beach is closed.
We are advising people that they must not take to the water. We’ll take the necessary precautions which include waiting a certain period of time
“We are advising people that they must not take to the water. We’ll take the necessary precautions which include waiting a certain period of time,” said Ngwenya.
On the issue of PPE for lifeguards Ngwenya said: “We do have some deployed lifeguards. We are advanced on the issue of [securing] PPE because this becomes critical for lifeguards to perform their duties and protect them from Covid-19.
“It’s a challenge that we are overcoming. We also want to caution people to obey the instructions of lifeguards,” he said.
“The president declared beaches open but it is advisable that people exercise extreme caution since we have not sorted out the PPE issue as yet.
“Our swimming pools remain closed. Last week a body washed up in Beacon Bay. So we are concerned that such incidents are starting to pile up.
“There’s no rush to get to the water; let’s rather wait for the municipality to finish its processes,” Ngwenya said.
One of the swimmers who was whisked from the water by NSRI rescuers, Leon Kemp, said he had not seen the predator but heard it was close by.
He said he was wearing a shark shield, an electronic device that creates an electromagnetic field to deter shark attacks, so he did not panic.
Save Nahoon Beach’s Kevin Harris said at this time of the year it was not unusual for sharks to appear regularly, as it was sardine run time.
“So just ahead of the run-up people must vigilant at all times,” Harris said.