Jaws and awards
‘I used to be professional body-boarder, but I don’t really like going out into the water anymore’, he says. We’ve made friends with a couple that’s just moved down here. Our daughters are in the same class and we’ve organized a beach play-date.
Off-handedly I ask why.
‘When I was twenty I watched my best friend get taken by a Great White’
The three friends were about jump into the water from a rocky reef that extended out into the bay. His friend was the first to jump in and almost immediately got torpedoed into the air by a 4mtr Great White before dragging him under and rag-dolling him. The shark spits him out and they manage to get him out of the water and back to the beach. He’s been bit across his lower torso into his thigh, losing a hand and lacerating the femoral artery in his leg. There is a doctor on the beach and they manage to stabilize him and get him to a hospital, where they amputated the leg. He dies shortly afterwards though, from the massive blood loss.
I am initially skeptical. Who gets eaten by a shark in real life? But I imagine these things are documented online (which they are) and his story checks out. (we lose about two surfers/free-divers a year along the South African coast)
Interestingly though I find other articles about my new buddy (post shark). One in which he was working on a deck on a beachfront property (he is a carpenter by trade) and saw two people getting washed out by a riptide and who are now both struggling. He runs out, dives into the water, swims out and manages to pull the female back to shore. Tells her to stay put and swims back out for the male. He’s busy hauling the guy back when notices that the female has swum back out again (and has gotten into trouble… again). Apparently she was trying to help save her fiance. In any event, he manages to save them both and gets an award for his efforts. (there is a ceremony and a mayor involved)
All of which means I can’t be friends with this guy anymore. Obviously.