Coast KZN

23 Jul 2020

KZN viral video of ’shark attack’ was fake news. Here’s what really happened

(ANA: IOL) Picture: Screengrab from video

Durban – A viral video posted on Facebook on Sunday, titled “Young KZN man mauled by shark”, has since been declared as fake news. The video shows a young man with deep lacerations across his lower back being helped to shore by people at the scene.  The incident occurred on Sunday along the South Coast, between Warner Beach and Winkelspruit beach in eManzimtoti.

Jace Govender of ASFN Fishing, who was in communication with the people on the scene on Sunday, said: “It was a boating incident and not a shark attack.”

“Thankfully, the propeller didn’t sever any of his vital organs or arteries and he is on the mend,” Govender told Wildoceans, an ocean conservation organisation.

“People need to stop giving sharks a bad name,” he added.

According to a statement issued on Thursday by Wildoceans, this type of misinformation is the reason sharks have earned a reputation as fierce creatures.

“We don’t ever hear about them in a way that sets them up as the victim, or shows how the ‘hunter’ is now the hunted,” said Ruth Mthembu, marketing manager for Widloceans’ Shark Attack Campaign.

According to Mthembu, it is up to them to undo the years of fear that “Jaws”, a famous movie about a killer shark, created.

“The Shark Attack Campaign has taken the opportunity to educate people about the misconceptions on sharks. Over and above that, the campaign aims to turn that fear into reverence for these often misunderstood and amazing creatures,” said Mthembu.

Mthembu said that, far too often, sharks are portrayed in a negative light.