Thursday, October 29, 2009

Shark Attack on Mark Ragotzki

I received this feed back from Fernando fro Centurion Freedivers with regards to Mark Ragotzki's unfortunate shark attack. I also spoke to Jeremy Williams from the Dive Factory who spoke to Mark and Rob. He said that the Zambie came in at a rate of knots and chomped on Marks foot, and did not give Mark much time to respond. Not the kind of thing we like to hear or think about!

Glad to inform Mark is doing well and in hi spirit. Went to visit him last night at Sunninghill Netcare Hospital in Sandton, to convey everyone’s sentiments… he says “THANKS GUYS FOR EVERYTHING”. He told me the whole story which I’ll note down so everyone is up to speed as to what really happened.

Rob, Mark and the third gentleman’s name I can’t remember were aprox 2hrs out to sea looking for big game fish. They stumbled onto a reef in the middle of nowhere that rose from the ocean floor to aprox 15m below the surface. They decided this reef was worth taking a look so Da Boyz got into the water, Mark started his decent and identified the usual fish species that are commonly found where big game fish lurk, went through a school of baitfish and headed down to the reef below. He spotted a Zambi swimming around in a non threatening manner and made nothing of it … saw a Kakaap, shot it and began to surface. Once on top, he called the boat over to assist him with the fish. Rob steered the boat to the location and began to pull the fish in, still the Zambi wasn't interested. Mark told me the speared fish was about 15m away from them when he saw the Zambi charging him and heading straight for his legs. His immediate reaction was to pull his legs up and the shark whacked his left ankle, shook him around and left the scene.
Mark climbed immediately on board, bleeding from the ankle as Rob hauled in the Kakaap which remained untouched by the shark. Another two suspenseful hour boat trip back to land where DAN came to the rescue and airvaced him back to SA. Mark told me that if it wasn’t for DAN, things would have looked a lot worse.

Mark’s only conclusion for this attack is “territorial”, the shark was clearly not after the speared fish. I reckon those sharks in these remote areas have never seen a human, therefore the chance of these sharks coming to investigate are very good. The sharks around South Africa are use to human interaction and know we are not a threat to them and not on their menu, reason why we have become a little laxy around sharks???

The wound was very well wrapped so I couldn’t see the extent of  damage. The top of his left foot has no feeling but the soul of his foot has, which is a good sign. I also had a squizz at his toes and they have a normal healthy colour which means good blood circulation. Given the circumstances, Mark looks well and I’m sure he’ll be fully recovered in a very short while. The doctors are keeping him for observation to make sure no infection sets in … that’s the last thing you want at this stage of the game. He’ll be going for surgery on Friday to see how much dead flesh there is to be cut out and to verify how things are healing. This surgery will be the first of a few to come.

Hope I was “detailed” enough to get everyone up to speed, feel free to pass this piece of news onto everyone that may know Mark or has herd of the incident and are a little in the dark.

Cya later,
Fernando.
 It would be interesting to find out more about the DAN insurance that Mark had. They flew in a small jet with doctors on board to take Mark back to an SA hospital.


Coatesman
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