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Monday, 30 April 2012

He died doing what he loved - David Lilienfeld


Dirk Lilienfeld leads his son Gustav to a waiting car after seeing his eldest son, David's body. Gustav had been wih David when the shark attacked im. Photo: Michael Walker


A FOUR-METRE great white shark surged towards Camps Bay bodyboarder David Lilienfeld riding waves just outside Gordons Bay.

Moments after it swam away, and right next to Lilienfeld’s brother Gustav, the shark returned and lunged at David Lilienfeld a second time.

Lilienfeld tried to fight the shark off with his board.

“It killed him (David) on the third attempt. It bit his leg clean off,” said Mat Marais, a keen surfer who witnessed the attack yesterday.

Lilienfeld, 20, died at the scene.

A policewoman said Lilienfeld’s father, Dirk, a medical practitioner from Camps Bay, asked that this message be given to the media gathered at the scene: “David was a Springbok bodyboarder. This was his life and he died doing what he loved.”

His right leg was severed below the hip. He had no other visible injuries.

Gustav, 18, who had tried to save his older brother, managed to get David’s body on to a board and towards the shore, and escaped without injury.

Marais said that after Gustav got his brother’s body near the shore, other friends, surfers, bodyboarders and bystanders, struggled to pull the body on to land as the shark was still swimming nearby in shallow water.

“They couldn’t go in to fetch him,” Marais said.

Lilienfeld’s body could be moved to land only once the shark had left.

Marais said that about 20 minutes before the attack at 12.41pm at a popular surf- ing spot between Kogel Bay and

Gordon’s Bay known as Dappat se Gat, there had been many dolphins in the water.

“About three minutes after I got out the water, one of the guys said: ‘Was that a shark attack?’

“The shark came back for the bodyboarder three times. It killed him the third time. It was between three and four metres. When its tail fin came out, it was quite large,” he said.

When people realised an attack had occurred, Marais said, they rushed to help David Lilienfeld and his brother.

People who had been standing at a parking lot at the top of a hill near the surfing spot, rushed down to see if Lilienfeld could be saved and called emergency services.

But Marais said Lilienfeld died after losing a vast amount of blood.

He said emergency services arrived 10 minutes after the attack but could not save him.

“Conditions were good. It was your dream day becoming your worst nightmare,” he said.

Marais said he had surfed at the spot for 19 years and it was the first fatal shark attack there that he could recall.

He said the last attack had occurred years ago and surfer Sergio Capri confirmed to the Cape Times he had been attacked more than two decades ago.

A number of people told the Cape Times they had spotted at least two sharks in the water yesterday.

Lilienfeld’s friends started gathering and a number could be seen, tears streaming down their faces, sitting on a ledge overlooking the spot where Lilienfeld’s body lay.

“I can’t talk to you right now,” was all one friend managed to say before breaking down.

A rescue worker could be seen standing on a rocky patch near the body and police said Gustav was still with his brother’s body.

Lilienfeld’s father, Dirk Lilienfeld, looking dazed, arrived and was led from the parking area to his son’s body so that he could identify it.

A while later Gustav, appearing shellshocked and clutching a surfboard, and his father walked back up to the parking area from Lilienfeld’s body.

Friends rushed to comfort them and the two left soon after briefly speaking to police.

Police confirmed Gustav had been at his brother’s side when the attack happened and had tried to help him.

Officers said another friend, Kirk Morgan, had also been present when the attack took place.

When rescue workers and police carried Lilienfeld’s body up to the parking area, his friends broke down again and hugged one another.

One of them, who declined to be named, said they had not been present when the attack happened.

“Please just mention the issue of chumming. I don’t know why the shark would come back for him,” he said.

In the weeks leading up to yesterday’s attack, chumming had made headlines because of filming for the documentary Shark Men, which involved research being done in False Bay and on the southern Cape coast.

But following yesterday’s attack, the environmental affairs department cancelled the permits enabling the programme and research to go ahead.

Yesterday National Sea Rescue Institute spokesman Craig Lambinon said after Lilienfeld was attacked, witnesses had reported seeing up to six sharks in the area.

Police spokesman Andre Traut said an inquest docket had been registered to probe the attack.

Late yesterday, as news of Lilienfeld’s death spread, condolence messages started pouring in for him.

Lilienfeld was a member of the South African bodyboarding team at the International Surfing Association Bodyboarding Championships in the Canaries late last year.

In a shark attack in September near Fish Hoek beach Michael Cohen’s leg was partially amputated. He survived.

caryn.dolley@inl.co.za
http://www.iol.co.za/capetimes/he-died-doing-what-he-loved-1.1280605#.UwTkD5FWwpF

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Shark attack ‘blood-filled nightmare’

Two British tourists who were first at the scene after bodyboarder David Lilienfeld was killed in a shark attack at Kogel Bay have described the incident as a “blood-filled nightmare”.

“We saw this huge figure rise from the water. It was absolutely relentless in its attack,” 30-year-old Sam Jefferies, from London, told Weekend Argus yesterday.

He and his parents Judy and Gordon, as well as his brother Harry, 25, were driving back to Fish Hoek from Hermanus when they witnessed the attack on Lilienfeld, 20, from Camps Bay, who died after the shark ripped off his right leg.

Harry told of how they stopped at a viewpoint to take in the scenery. “It was such a perfect day and we saw two bodyboarders out in the water. “They looked like they were having so much fun.”

When the shark attacked, every agonising minute was clearly visible. “It rammed David three or four times in a matter of seconds. He managed to fight back a bit using his board, but there was no escape. “After being hit a third time, David sank into the water. The piece of ocean where he had gone down turned red with blood,” Harry said.

Sam said they rushed down the cliff to try to reach David.

“It couldn’t have taken us five minutes to get down there. His brother Gustav was still making his way to the shore. We knew he (David) would be severely injured because of the blood but thought that if we could reach him in time we could save his life.”

Meanwhile, their parents ran to warn other people on the beach about the shark.

Sam and Harry said they warned off another surfer about 100 metres from where the attack took place, and he joined them on the rocks to search for David.

They found his bodyboard first. It had been carried in by the waves and was being pushed on to the rocks.

By now, they were joined by David’s younger brother Gustav and the four finally spotted David’s body, floating face-down in the shallows.

“We went to retrieve him from the water, and saw his right leg had been torn off from the lower hip. He had been frothing from the mouth,” Sam said, adding that there was “so much blood”.

But they quickly moved David to higher ground as the shark remained nearby. Harry said Gustav was in complete shock, and kept saying: “Oh God. Please let him be okay.” “I remember checking his pulse - there was nothing.”

The surfer, whose name they did not get, also checked for a pulse, and then told Gustav there wasn’t one. “He cried and cried as we waited for emergency services. We all hugged before going our separate ways.”

Sam and Harry said they couldn’t be sure whether David died as a result of blood loss or if he had drowned.

They suggested the froth at his mouth may have indicated that that he had drowned.

“We only found out later that David and Gustav were brothers. That made the attack hit us so much harder because they were brothers, like us,” they said. It was an incredibly traumatic experience for them, they said. They hoped to get in touch with the Lilienfeld family to offer their condolences. “We want them to know exactly what happened to David and how brave he was.”

Len Bradford, of Reef wetsuits, told Weekend Argus that David had been one of the country’s top bodyboarders. “He was SA junior champ in 2009, and was selected for last year’s SA national bodyboarding team, representing SA at the World Games in the Canary Islands last November.

“He was an amazing sportsman, but a very humble guy. Very soft-spoken,” he said. “It’s a great loss to our sport, and to everyone,” he said.

- Saturday Argus

kowthar.solomons@inl.co.za
http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/western-cape/shark-attack-blood-filled-nightmare-1.1281056#.UwSAc5FWwpE

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Nuisance caused by new street lamp between Whale Rock and Beaches Apts, Clifton

TO: Saville Allan Wenn
City of Cape Town


Dear Saville

Tomorrow at 10 am is fine, thank you.  I will meet you under the lamp and hope we can resolve the nuisance. I will email you under separate cover more photos showing the impact of the new street light nuisance.

I hope Mr. Chris Willemse of the CBRRA can also be there at that time. In advance of that meeting and to save time for all of us  may I please make the following suggestions to resolve this problem?
  1. The previous street lamp deflector was removed (without notice to me or reasons given for doing so) by the Electricity Department some time ago when they replaced the light bulb with the stronger (halogen?) bulb which now throws 20 –40 m plus and much wider and even more invasive pool of light in the area and as a result refracts  onto and into surrounding properties and buildings, including our property. It is so strong that we can see the yellow parking lines in pitch darkness from quite a distance away (100, m estimate?) and the street light bounces off neighbors' buildings too, upwards and into our bedrooms.
  2. I can send you some more photos if you wish to see what it looks like at night, or we can meet one evening after dark if you wish to monitor it then. 7 pm is fine.
  3. Your colleagues should still have the deflector they removed, so I can't see why it is necessary to pay extra for restitution, or why I should be held liable for a nuisances caused by the Electricity team/Council contractors/employees, also in view of the legal obligations for Council to stop the nuisance in terms of various environmental and public health laws?
  4. The comment below that you cannot remove the lamp as other road users will be be affected is not supported by the facts on the ground and in this area:
    1. There are 4 lamp posts in very close proximity to each other here in addition to roof lights from properties adjoining Victoria Rd..
    2. This particular spot is over lit through a combination of public and private artificial exterior lighting at night.
    3. As residents and rate payers we live here and can't sleep as result of the reflection into our bedrooms at two levels of our house now also by this street lamp, exacerbated by existing amplification of the light nuisance by the Beaches' Apts. (10 Victoria Rd.) illegal roof and sign lights. 
    4. Road users will not be negatively affected by your department taking steps to ameliorating the light nuisance posed by this lamp opposite our house as:
      1. there are already too many street lamp posts here providing more than sufficient light over a short distance of 40 m minimum.
      2. surrounding roof lights add additional light sources illuminate the public and private spaces more sharply than daylight at this spot;
      3. road users and motorists are passing through this spot in an average of 1 second whereas we live here 24 hours a day, with the night time of about 11 hours being invaded by artificial light at night causing permanent residents and ratepayers to suffer more severely from the invasive light sources.
      4. motorists manage very well with their vehicle head lamps in this over this overly well lit part of Victoria rd. as they also do 100 m away towards Bantry Bay where there is light only over a greater distance only on the sea side of Victoria Road and also a few kilometers away where there are again no artificial pavement lights (on one side of the road).  
      5. There is really no basis for stating that motorists will be negatively affected by the removal of this one lamp. They manage perfectly well 8 km away on Victoria Rd. towards Llandudno where there are no lights on either side of the road, and all along the hundreds of thousands of roads in our country which have no street lights at all.  There are several light bulbs out at several nearby lamp posts (incl. on the duplicate lamp post at Whale Rock apt. opposite our house).
      6. There are few pedestrians using the pavement here at night and this area is so excessively well lit with so many permanent sources of artificial light (incl. surplus street lamps) that removing this one light is unlikely to affect pedestrian safety here. I have been monitoring the possible impact on pedestrians here at at night and cannot believe that the removal of this one light would endanger anyone's safety given the reality of excessive artificial light sources here. 
      7. May I suggest another option as possible solution: could you temporarily remove the light bulb on this one lamp (as if it blew) and we can both monitor the positive or negative effect thereof? The deflector will then not have to be fitted, you will not have to come back to deal with continuing nuisance problems if the deflector does not work with this new, stronger light bulb, and we should be able to get some sleep?
Please let me know what other suggestions or solutions you have?

Best regards,

Helet Merkling
Clifton

cc:  Chris Willemse, Chairman CBRRA
cc: Sandy Hustwick
cc: Mark Double
cc: Alan Berelowitz, Chairman CBO
cc:  Beverly Schafer