Fatal shark incident – Official statement by CEO 

Published: June 29th, 2022
by Patty Butterworth, CEO

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the fatal shark incident that occurred yesterday afternoon at the popular Sanctuary Beach area. Losing someone like this is chilling and very sad for the family and our community.

The victim’s family and friends are foremost in our minds today, and we wish to express our sincere condolences for their loss.

Rescue swimmers responded directly to the scene after NSRI crew was alerted by eyewitnesses who reported a shark incident with a swimmer at Sanctuary Beach at 14h09, Tuesday, 28 June.

We would like to thank the NSRI for their speedy response and for the immediate and professional assistance in dealing with the family to assist with trauma counseling and other matters.

The Bitou community does its utmost to ensure the safety of its residents and visitors and is extremely saddened when tragic events beyond its control happen.

While Plettenberg Bay is renowned for its natural beauty, both on land and in the sea, we need to constantly remind ourselves that we are visitors in nature and need to exercise caution when out in the natural environment.

We urge all participants in water activities at sea to exercise caution, be aware of their surroundings, and to heed any warnings from anyone in a position of authority.

The NSRI and the Bitou Municipality are appealing to sea users – bathers, paddlers, sailors, and boaters – in Plett and along the Southern Cape coastline to exercise extreme caution following the fatal incident. The beaches will remain closed for in-water activities until further notice.

This closure does not include boat-based activities or activities on the beaches.

Patty Butterworth signature, CEO of Plett Tourism

Patty Butterworth,
CEO Plett Tourism

* Some content shared, with permission from Bitou Executive Mayor Dave Swart and NSRI Plett Station Commander.