Fish Hoek woman killed in shark attack

Outer Bamnks diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by on November 15, 2004 at 23:14:03:

In Reply to: GWS eats woman in South Africa posted by on November 15, 2004 at 21:00:16:

The close-knit Fish Hoek community was in mourning yesterday after well-known local resident Tyna Webb (77) was killed by a shark while out on her daily swim off Jagger's Walk.

It was the first fatal shark attack in the area in more than a century.

Webb was one of a group of stalwarts who swam early every morning at Fish Hoek in both winter and summer.

She was a strong swimmer and disregarded warnings from family and friends.

The attack happened at 7am yesterday about 150m from the shoreline.

Fellow swimmer Carla Reiman said: "I had just arrived on the beach and saw the trek fishermen waving a flag and shouting from the watchpoint on the mountain. I saw the fin, then the whole shark coming out of the water. It thrashed around. Everybody was screaming and shouting."

"We swim here every morning. We're dumbstruck."

Brian de Jager, who works at Sunny Cove Manor said he would greet Webb every morning as he strolled along Jaggers Walk on his way to buy a newspaper.

"This morning I took my usual walk and I saw Tyna swimming. The next minute I saw this fin coming through the water, and then the discolouration in the water. It was so quick - it all took place in only 30 seconds."

"She was such a lovely lady, with an amazing carriage and grace - such a beautiful person. This is a terrible shock."

Fisherman Jeffrey Andries saw the attack through binoculars from the fishermen's lookout on Elsies Peak. He waved a flag to alert the beachgoers.

"It was about 7 in the morning. I saw the lady doing the backstroke. She was swimming directly into the path of the shark. Then I saw splashes. The shark turned, then pulled her under the water."

"I often see sharks in the bay from here. Yesterday, I saw two and notified the lifesavers."

Other eye-witnesses said they had seen the shark thrash around then come out of the water and down on a swimmer.

A red bathing cap, believed to have belonged to Webb, was found shortly after the attack. Yesterday morning a sea fisheries vessel, two lifesaving boats and a helicopter searched for Webb's body. The search was called off at noon.

"It's up to the tides now," said Clive Wakeford, president of Fish Hoek Livesaving Club.

"It's unwise to swim that far out, especially early in the morning and late in the afternoon."

The day before yesterday, lifesavers had told swimmers to get out of the water at 11am and again at 3pm after fishermen saw sharks.

Police and medics patrolled the beach yesterday.
A relative, who asked not to be named, described Webb as "a remarkable person".

"She was a teacher in Khayelitsha and even during the state of emergency in the 1980s, when police told white people not to go into the townships, she would go. She followed her own mind, and she had a soft heart. She was loved literature and the arts."

"After her retirement she worked at St Luke's Hospice. She was a very, very special person - a moral force, someone to be proud of."

Don Ainslie, who worked with Webb at the College of Education in Khayelitsha, said: "She was humble and exceptionally kind."

"Her students adored her. When she spoke, it was always so simple and so deep, never pedantic. And she was totally fearless."

"If somebody did something she saw as immoral, she would fire up and tell them so."

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