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. Charms

    maybe the shark mistook Cohen for Kosher? Ok that's a bad joke, but he should have taken heed in the warning.

    September 30, 2011 at 5:29 am | Report abuse |
  2. Dover

    I bet he won't do THAT again.

    September 30, 2011 at 5:43 am | Report abuse |
    • unowhoitsme

      Walk out to the beach?

      September 30, 2011 at 5:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Quincey9

      Well, he's obviously an idiot and he still has one leg. Let's wait and see.

      September 30, 2011 at 6:18 am | Report abuse |
    • RL

      YES! Despite warning the shark, he bit the man anyway. Bad Shark!!!

      September 30, 2011 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
    • RL

      Yep! YES! Despite warning the shark, he bit the man anyway. Bad Shark!!! After which point the shark released the man, admitting that the concensus was right. "You're right" stated the shark. "Human beings are both stupid AND not very tasty" as he grimaced while remembering the flavor.

      September 30, 2011 at 7:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Shark

      We'll meet again
      Don't know how
      Don't know when
      But I know we'll meet again
      Some sunny day.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. unowhoitsme

    Stupidity.

    September 30, 2011 at 5:43 am | Report abuse |
  4. JFWilder

    Another one for the Darwin Awards page....well..almost. If he died, he'd surely be deserving of the award.

    September 30, 2011 at 6:03 am | Report abuse |
    • tapuhere

      Thanks for posting that. I was worried we'd get to 10 posts before someone really clever brought up the Darwin Awards.

      September 30, 2011 at 7:10 am | Report abuse |
  5. Mr Pheer

    Why would ANYBODY go swimming off of Cape Town? Its one of the top spots in the world for great whites to hang out.

    Losing a leg for stupidity... very sad. Hope he doesnt die from it.

    September 30, 2011 at 6:11 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ex Submarine Sailor

    There seems to be a connection to marine environment "I-can't-take-a-hint" disasters and the name Mike Coen ..... ie.. Lt Mike "Crash" Coen, shark bite victim Mike "Pegleg" Coen.... hmmm..

    September 30, 2011 at 6:11 am | Report abuse |
  7. Seriously?

    LOLOLOLOLOL Well... nothing to say but, he deserved it!

    September 30, 2011 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Erik

      You deserve to be eaten by a shark, too. Taking pleasure in another person's misfortune is really immature.

      September 30, 2011 at 7:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Shark

      No, really, he deserved it.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Loriel

    Well; the shark showed him. Stay out of their hood.

    September 30, 2011 at 6:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Shark

      I told the bouncers to keep them out while we were mating, but some people just don't take a hint.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. P.S

    That is the STUPIDEST way of committing suicide i have ever heard of!!

    September 30, 2011 at 6:45 am | Report abuse |
  10. The Zog

    It is sad to say but.......no matter what explanation he makes about why he took that swim, he will not have a leg to stand on.

    September 30, 2011 at 6:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Seriously?

      Come on.... you can do better than that.

      September 30, 2011 at 6:54 am | Report abuse |
  11. Kenny

    Cape Town, South Africa is one of the top spots in the world for Great Whites to hang out while looking for a free meal and rightfully so. The ocean is their resturant and most meals consist of Seals and People. The biggest reason for so many attacks is that many people seem to think they are indestructable until they get the reality feeling of the teeth of a Great White knawing at their bones and of course the lesson, in those cases are learned a bit late. This man should be thankful the shark was only looking for an appitizer before dinner least he would have found himself on a tour of the inner workings of a Great White.

    September 30, 2011 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
  12. Rob

    No really its OK, I'm a shark whisperer.

    September 30, 2011 at 6:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Shark

      He wasn't whispering when I bit him.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. thinrunner

    It's stupid to swim in the ocean. Enjoy the beach but SWIM IN THE POOL.

    September 30, 2011 at 6:58 am | Report abuse |
  14. RL

    YES! Despite warning the shark, he bit the man anyway. Bad Shark!!! After which point the shark released the man, admitting that the concensus was right. "You're right" stated the shark. "Human beings are both stupid AND not very tasty" as he grimaced while remembering the flavor.

    September 30, 2011 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
  15. Andurill

    That's a high price for not listening.

    September 30, 2011 at 7:11 am | Report abuse |
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