INJURED – Hole in the wall, Wild Coast, South Africa – 25 January 2006 – spearfisherman attacked

Michael Vriese, 35, was attacked by a shark while spearfishing near Hole in the Wall, Wild Coast, South Africa on 25 January.

While he was pulling in a fish he had speared, the shark (size and species not mentioned) attacked the dead fish and in the process mauled his right arm severing two arteries and damaging muscles and nerves on his wrist and forearm.

“By the time I had swum back to the beach, I was getting pretty weak and my friends had to support me by both shoulders to get me to a car,” Vriese told media.

Vriese said “there was blood everywhere. I don’t know how much I lost, but I’m told that I got a transfusion of at least four units in Durban.”

His diving companion Neil Abel drove him to a clinic near Hole in the Wall and they told him to rush for Mthatha.

Vriese was stabilised at Mthatha hospital before being airlifted to Durban where he underwent further surgery to repair the damaged arteries and tendons.

“I could have ended up dead,” Vriese told media. “I’m lucky that Neil and I both know a bit about first aid and I was able to stop some of the blood loss myself by tying a tourniquet around my arm, and loosening it every few minutes to allow some blood to get through.”

The Herald

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