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I had no idea I was bitten - Surfer Jason Lemmer describes J-Bay shark encounter

21 July 2021 5:36 PM
Tags:
NSRI
Surfer
shark encounter
shark bite
Jason Lemmer

CapeTalk host Pippa Hudson chats to local surfer Jason Lemmer and NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon about the shark encounter last week.
  • Kommetjie resident Jason Lemmer was bitten by a shark in Jeffreys Bay last week
  • The 40-year-old says he was bitten less than a minute after paddling out with his friend at first light
  • The surfer is now recovering at home after being treated at a hospital in Gqeberha
  • He's acknowledged how the NSRI shark bite kit played an important part of the rescue

Picture: NSRI

Capetonian Jason Lemmer was bitten by a shark at a beach in Jeffreys Bay shortly after entering the water last week Wednesday.

The 40-year-old says he paddled out at first light with a family friend at The Point.

Moments after trying to catch his first wave, the shark grabbed him.

"I felt this incredible crash and I was in the water", he recalls.

RELATED: Cape Town man bitten by a shark while surfing in Jeffreys Bay - NSRI

Lemmer says he felt bite marks on his surfboard and realised what had just happened.

He says the shark followed closely behind while two of his surfer friends helped him to get to shore and out of the water.

"It was like escorting us to the beach... you could see the dorsal fin", he tells CapeTalk.

His wife and other surfers that were suiting up witnessed the whole encounter which he described as a "gory scene".

Lemmer sustained puncture wounds to his right leg and his torso. He was treated by an NSRI Bakoven crewman who happened to be there at the time until paramedics arrived on the scene.

He says he has nine deep gashes from his ribs down to his buttocks, but thankfully they are only flesh wounds.

His knee was injured but no ligaments or tendons were damaged and no internal bleeding was found.

I lost a lot of blood... I got really lucky, just flesh wounds. I didn't lose anything. Just some really bad cuts.

Jason Lemmer, surfer

We paddled out, met another mate of mine Piet out there, and literally within a minute of paddling out... we saw a wave coming and we were paddling to reposition ourselves.... out of nowhere I felt this incredible crash and I was in the water.

Jason Lemmer, surfer

I had no idea I had been bitten. I actually thought that it just knocked me off the board. When I was getting back onto my board, I felt the bite marks underneath my board and I realised that there were teeth involved and I'm likely to have been bitten on my back.

Jason Lemmer, surfer

It was quite a surreal experience because the shark followed us the whole way to shore. It didn't do anything except follow us but right behind my one friend.

Jason Lemmer, surfer

We spend quite a bit of time in winter in Jeffreys Bay now just because the weather isn't really good here.

Jason Lemmer, surfer
Shark bite kits help to stop bleeding and save lives. Image: NSRI

NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon says the shark bite kits come in handy during such incidents.

They contain a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, rescue scissors, bandages, cable ties and other compression tools to help stop the bleeding.

Lambinon says it's critical to get the person out of the water and stop bleeding when they have been bitten by a shark.

He adds that everyone should familiarise themselves with the NSRI emergency number 112.

They were really lucky to have Russell from NSRI Bakoven there. He was about to go surfing and a friend called him about the shark encounter... he was able to get there quickly... and open the shark kit and start using the sterile pads and bandages.

Craig Lambinon, Spokesperson - National Sea Rescue Institute



21 July 2021 5:36 PM
Tags:
NSRI
Surfer
shark encounter
shark bite
Jason Lemmer

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