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Surfer Bitten by 4-Meter Great White Shark Off Cape Town

Muizenberg, South Africa
Two men stand on there boards in the ocean in Muizenberg, South Africa. Photographer: Schalk van Zuydam/AP Photo

A surfer off Cape Town’s Muizenberg beach was bitten by a shark suspected to be as much as 4 meters (13 feet) in length, South Africa’s National Sea Rescue Institute said.

The 20-year-old man was taken by helicopter to the hospital after he made it to shore with the assistance of a friend. He had lacerations to his legs and a severe wound to his left thigh, the institute said today.

“The species of shark involved has been confirmed by the bite marks to have been a White Shark and eyewitness accounts suggest the shark to have been between 3 and 4 meters in length,” the institute said.

The attack victim is in a stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery, the City of Cape Town said in a statement on its website.

Muizenberg Beach has been closed to the public until further notice.

Between 1905 and 2013 there were 239 recorded shark attacks off the South African coast, according to the Florida Museum of National History, which is part of the University of Florida. Of those 53 were fatal.

Great whites, tiger sharks and bull sharks are among the species found off South Africa’s coast.

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