14 June, 2012 14 June, 2012

Bizarre shark encounter in Ballito


Early morning Ballito © Jeremiah / Shot Bru

Earlier this week Zag received a heads-up from lifelong Ballito ripper, Alan Johns, about a large shark that had been spotted in the vicinity of Bog Bay. Alan believes it was a great white of three metres plus, and swears this is not a ploy to scare off the crowds. While great whites are not common along the KZN coast, they are still found along its waters. Similar reports corroborate Alan’s story. Read his account below:

“In all my time surfing KZN, I have never been able to see, let alone watch a shark for 20 minutes from the land. Today was really weird…

A couple mates and I have been hitting the surf before sunrise for the last couple of weeks, loving the early morning land breezes. Today we thought we were going to score again. My mate Dean Maeber and I were first out at Bog and as we sat up out the back, I spotted a dorsal fin. I said to him that I thought I saw a fin, but thought it could have been a dolphin or a big manta Ray, but as the swell moved past us we both clearly watched it turn and start slowly start swimming  toward us. I just said “that’s a shark” and we both scrambled towards the rocks. At that stage four other people were already in the channel and we shouted for them to turn around. A friend of mine, Dylan Smith, was watching from the walkway and when we came up the beach I said we saw a shark and he said “I know, it’s still there”, pointing to the lineup.

We turned around and watched this shark swim around for about 20 minutes. By that time a couple more guys showed up to paddle out, and the 10 of us just watched as it just wouldn’t move off. We could clearly see the tail and the dorsal fin surfacing over and over again. It was just weird.
It was still there when I left the beach….after this incident a couple of local guys said a shark had been spotted repeatedly last week swimming up and down between Sunrise point and Bog.

I’m not sure if its the same shark but I will probably be skipping the paddle outs in the dark for a while.” – Allan Johns


  1. Mr.Paynter
    11 July, 2012 at 6:59 pm · Reply

    Had a very similar experience a couple of winters ago just down the beach at Clarks’ (or in front of the Hops)

    All of us chased in although this particular man in a grey suit didn’t stick around!

  2. John Church
    21 February, 2020 at 11:57 pm · Reply

    At 5.45 21st Feb 2020 me & my 3 boys spotted a very large light grey triangle shape fin (wide base), cruising past me at about 12m away parallel to sunrise (below Santorini) beach in Ballito. I’ve been surfing here most days for 32 years & have never seen anything like it before. We have seen quite a few small sharks @ surfers point & bathers. Even seen a few orca in our bay (we live just above sunnies, 200m South of Santorini). We will try identify the fin shape tomorrow but are pretty sure it was a GT! As the sun was fading fast we probably didn’t see it come past us until it was really close! So good to know that we aren’t on its menu (or maybe it wasn’t hungary) as it surly would have seen us as soon as we paddled out!

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