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. philip

    Too bad the shark didn't get the guy's crown jewels so he won't pass on that level of stupid to the next generation.

    September 30, 2011 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Shark

      THAT would have been a Darwin Award, but he moved and I got his thigh instead. Tasted like chicken.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Melissa

    I bet all 12 bites were tourists.

    September 30, 2011 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
  3. gary

    You can't fix stupid !!!!!!

    September 30, 2011 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Lean6

      I'm sure the only thing that made the shark excuse itself from the dinner table was when Mr. Du-mass $chat himself too.

      September 30, 2011 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Dede

      Did the guy not understand the danger? Duh! They should change his name to stupid.

      September 30, 2011 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  4. Erik

    OK so the guy was stupid for ignoring signs that stated that a shark was seen, but give him a break. I think he KNOWS it was a dumb idea by now, we don't need to add insult to injury. However, there was just as much of a chance for a shark to have been there and NOT have been spotted. And statistically speaking, the odds of being attacked were still low. Humans swim in the vicinity of dangerous sharks all the time and don't even realize it because the shark isn't interested. Having said that, if I had been in his situation, I certainly wouldn't have gone in the water.

    September 30, 2011 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
    • dogs rule

      He deserved it. There's no cure for stupid, but maybe this experience helped!

      September 30, 2011 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Lean6

      Dude, I see "Cape Town" and I immediately think of flying Great White Sharks with seals in their jaws as seen on NatGeo...and that's without all of the local indications this guy had to make a real time decision. He was doing something reckless, probably an adrenaline junkie or simply that guy that needs constant attention and approval.

      September 30, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
    • justSaynn

      When you go to an area FAMOUS for great whites, one should take heed of all warning not to enter the water because of sharks. He thought he was smarter than everyone including the shark, but learned a very expensive lesson.

      September 30, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
    • BioHzrd420

      I don't care if he doesn't want to hear how stupid that was. He's going to have to hear that over and over again because it was stupid.

      September 30, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. Stewie

    He had to cancel his hiking trip in Iraq

    September 30, 2011 at 7:40 am | Report abuse |
    • purnellmeagrejr

      good one.

      September 30, 2011 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      haha

      September 30, 2011 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. carl marks

    suicide by shark? ya right! no one would do that. and he didnt even die! he's just a plain old idiot, probably from a US red state

    September 30, 2011 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
    • dogs rule

      The article said he's British.

      September 30, 2011 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
    • JonnyMcGerk

      Umm, the first sentence states that he is a British man...Way to read Junior!

      September 30, 2011 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Plush

      Yep, some people ignore the signs, like the first sentence (second word in fact) that says he was British. Talk about stupid.

      September 30, 2011 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Ted

      Britain is a red state?

      September 30, 2011 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
    • The Truth Hurts

      Woops. Isn't that just like a blue state dude to open his mouth before knowing the facts? And by the way, nice attempt at basic sentence structure (you know, punctuation... uppercase letters, etc).

      September 30, 2011 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  7. Darwin

    Let me guess this one is the shark's fault as well. The appropriate response is to go out and kill more sharks. Definitely.

    September 30, 2011 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Shark

      Hey, let's you and me go swimming.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Aaron

    Sometimes people make it really hard for you to sympathize with them.

    September 30, 2011 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
  9. ROCKWOOD

    Sorry about the guy getting bit, but dang, how many forms or stewpid. If the experts told me not to swim cuz of sharks, I'd certainly listen.

    September 30, 2011 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. BlokeHead

    Now we know why the brits needed the US during WWII

    September 30, 2011 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  11. tj66

    nice headline – when did sharks start warning their food before biting into it?

    September 30, 2011 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  12. sparky

    a dumb@$$ and his legs are soon parted

    September 30, 2011 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  13. bezerkur

    as many sharks that get killed in nets and illegal drag lines plus hunted for their fins im happy for the sharks. i have no pity for the idiot.

    September 30, 2011 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
  14. sapsxy

    kill all sharks,tigers,bears,cougars,dangerous insects,animals,fish,and anything else that looks dangerous !!! 🙂

    September 30, 2011 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Shark

      Just try it, loser.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. snowdogg

    Swimming with sharks is ALMOST as dangerous as lawyers... LOL

    September 30, 2011 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
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