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. SGTJ

    Darwin award runner up

    September 30, 2011 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
    • GMoney

      Well he paid the price for his mistake, I think it's over the top to have people like you throwing out additional unoriginal insults

      September 30, 2011 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
    • what?

      What's the award for being so limited as to be predictable? You and the person who wrongly calls themself freethinker win it.

      September 30, 2011 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Shark

      I missed his junk, so he can still reproduce. No Darwin Award.

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

    maybe he was illiterate?

    September 30, 2011 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Fr33th1nk3r

      That is probably why they also put up signs with a picture of a shark on it to warn swimmers. Darwin is calling to present an award....

      September 30, 2011 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  3. Beautiful_glow

    Wow how can you be so heartless i am sure most of you are idiots your self i mean dont act like you are so perfect if it was one of your loved ones who made such a stupid decision you would not be saying these things and yes i admitt is was very stupid but have a soul

    September 30, 2011 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  4. Rita

    British is brave , that is how the WWII was won

    September 30, 2011 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      You're giving Britain credit for winning WWII??? That must be joke, right?

      September 30, 2011 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
    • W. Churchill

      Indeed fine citizen, the Yankees owe old Britain much benevolence as remit for our countless efforts to save their hides in the second World War.

      September 30, 2011 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
  5. Sen. John 'Bluto' Blutarsky

    Nothing wrong with thinning the herd a little....retribution for 'finning' perhaps?

    September 30, 2011 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
  6. jackyankee

    a well fed shark is a happy shark

    September 30, 2011 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Shark

      My stomach is upset. I think he might have been past his expiration date.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Richard R

    I always see idiots swim far into the ocean on brighton beach, even thought there are visible red flags not to swim far, they just think its cool or something or they want to show how brave they are...

    September 30, 2011 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
  8. Richard

    Since it is evident that Mr.Cohen frequented and swam at this particular spot, it should not be surprising that a shark

    September 30, 2011 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  9. Richard

    Would relish his company.

    September 30, 2011 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Shark

      He needed mustard.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Coolio Unroolio

    My heart goes out to the poor shark that didn't get the chance to finish his/her meal. Good luck next time Sharky! There are always more idiots out there to feast on.

    September 30, 2011 at 1:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Shark

      Thanks man. He wasn't very good anyway.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tonia

    we all know why he did it. he said the beach was cheaper than the pool- they wanted an ARM and a leg...

    September 30, 2011 at 1:54 am | Report abuse |

    @SENATOR JOHN,SUCK THIS OO[[[[[[[[[[D ********* O <YOUR MOUTH.

    September 30, 2011 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Sen. John 'Bluto' Blutarsky

      If that's "both barrels", you're just shooting blanks...

      September 30, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Shark

      Let's go swimming, Drako.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Really ya'll? Really?

    How awful.

    September 30, 2011 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
  14. Bigred

    Another Darwin Prize winner. Anyone who swims in shark infested waters after being warned not to is surely a wonderful recipient.

    September 30, 2011 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Elle

      Another "Darwin" poster.

      September 30, 2011 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
  15. Phil bert

    I hope he makes it. I wonder if this is related to the shark cage swimming industry. Companies chum the waters to attract big sharks so tourists can swim with them. I know that they monitor they beaches in that area pretty well, and thats pretty daring to ignore the warning flags. This is sad, but should have been avoided.

    September 30, 2011 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Shark

      He was my chum.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
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