September 29th, 2011
08:35 PM ET

Shark severely injures man near Cape Town

A British man was severely injured in an attack by a great white shark while swimming this week near Cape Town, South Africa.

Michael Cohen, 43, lost his right leg and suffered injuries to his left foot in Wednesday's incident near Fish Hoek Beach. He was in critical condition and under heavy sedation in an intensive care unit on Thursday.

According to city officials, the beach was closed when Cohen decided to go for a swim. Warning flags had been raised to alert beach goers that it was not safe to enter the water due to shark sightings.  Officials said it was not clear why Cohen ignored the warnings.

One eyewitness told city officials he watched the shark lunge toward Cohen and "shake him." He said the shark then let him go and swam away.

Two people told officials they rushed to the water to assist Cohen to shore.

Twelve shark attacks have been reported in Cape Town since 1998, according to city officials. In half of these cases, the city said, beach goers were warned that sharks had been spotted in the water.

soundoff (394 Responses)
  1. Rick springfield

    We are going to need to get a bigger boat.

    September 29, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • v2d

      Hooper drives the boat, chief.

      September 29, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr.K.

      Farewell and adeau ye fair spanish ladies...

      September 30, 2011 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Shark

      That's some bad hat, Harry.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. iBod

    CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA!....Look, I send my thoughts and prayers to this man that he doesn't lose his life due to his self-stupidity; however, this isn't OCMD or Tampa or Virginia Beach....THIS IS THE SHARK CAPITAL OF THE WORLD! If there are warnings, it is not like they may be seen and gone, they ARE there...and there to mate, so aggression is at a higher level! If there's warnings in Cape Town, don't go in the damn water!

    September 29, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. TravisWi

    Winner of the Darwin Award.

    September 29, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • keltari

      Since he still can reproduce, he cant win a Darwin Award. He is, however, still an idiot.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dipak Raikar

    Yeah the shark never heed the warning. I guess they don't understand English.

    September 29, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shark

      I'm not the one being warned, sonny.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Marine5484

    Does this guy not realize that Cape Town is where there are more, and the largest great whites then anywhere else in the world? I surf and there are some great areas to surf in Cape Town and I wouldn't even go in the water.

    September 30, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  6. John C.

    Should have let the idiot rot there.

    September 30, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  7. Swell_swell

    Has anyone given a thought that the poor man may not have known what the flags meant? After all, he was in a foreign country and we all know how abstract flags can be. While it could have been foolishness, it could also have been a lack of understanding.

    September 30, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • ObjectiveOpinion

      His first clue should have been 'why isn't anyone in the water?'

      September 30, 2011 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
    • iBod

      Many South Africans speak's one of their primary languages. 🙂

      September 30, 2011 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Sharks are natural
      Kinda hard to mistake what the sign says.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Alana

      The video said he was known for swimming there and ignoring previous warnings as well. So i doubt what you are saying.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
    • agonyflips


      Watch the video answers your own questions. He knew the flags meanings, swam there before, ignored the flags before.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mike

    "Officials said it was not clear why Cohen ignored the warnings." He had probably visited America and thought that you can ignore warnings, be stupid, get hurt, and then sue or at least get the media and the naive and innocent to blame someone else.

    September 30, 2011 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Let's hope a similar event happens to you or someone you love. You clearly need to feel that kind of pain because you aren't even close to being a human being

      October 1, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  9. Danteg8son

    A fool and his leg are soon parted.

    September 30, 2011 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
  10. ohsnap

    Trying to feel sorry for this idiot.

    September 30, 2011 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
  11. fernace

    LOL & shame on all you insensitive louts, that about covers it, I think! But seriously, iBod is correct (as are many similar posts), shark capitol, warning flags, & still the man decided to play "shark roulette", so to speak! For what purpose? To say he defied nature, the South African beach laws, or was he just plain not thinking (or as some call it:stupid)!? I'm trying to be politically correct, but these kinds of moment of human dunceness provokes either laughter or tears! I like to laugh, but will restrain myself to a smile & a tiny tear rolling down my cheek, afterwards! Noooo, I'm not laughing til I'm crying, not at Cohen, may God bless his wayward soul, just at the comments! Some are friggin' hilarious! @Fishman,@ Steve, @ Satan, @What a bunch..., @Mit, @ Max in NY, @ BB etc. comedians 1 & all!!

    September 30, 2011 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  12. harley

    what if he waz your pa you know JEZZ

    September 30, 2011 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
  13. Lahaina Surfer

    Another story to add to Discovery's Shark Week 2012!

    September 30, 2011 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  14. hill a legless dumbazz!!

    September 30, 2011 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  15. McUhoh

    ROFL!!!!! Suicide by shark? He must have tasted bad, shark spit him out.

    September 30, 2011 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Shark

      He was covered with suntan lotion. Blech.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
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