8 July, 2016 8 July, 2016

Joburg Meets Johnny

Yesterday afternoon, Thursday 07 July 2016, Nathan Grenetzky, the founding member Jo’burg Boardriders Club had a close encounter with a rather big Johnny, estimated at 4-metres, in Queensberry Bay, East London.

According to the man himself, he was just enjoying a quiet, solo session at the Q-Bay, when a large shark came towards him from the rocks during a lull. Nathan first saw the fin before the large shark swam beneath him and then circled back to bump him off his board.


Nathan pictured after another session. Image © Alan van Gysen

“I managed to get a wave and as I took off I saw the thing kind of glide off to the right of me – just a massive white underbelly, fins, it looked like an airplane. Just so massive,” said a somewhat freaked Nathan yesterday shortly after the incident in a voice note to personal friend, Surf Photographer and Zigzag Photo-Editor, Alan van Gysen. “I’m pretty traumatized. I’m pretty shaken. Maybe you can just get word out of this incident.”

A Gopro image documenting the moment Nathan was knocked off his board by an estimated 4-metre Great White. Image © Nathan Gernetzky

As usual, for this time of year, with the sardine run and the general increase in ocean activity that that phenomenon brings with it; there have been numerous sightings of sharks all over the East Coast of South Africa, however it has been speculated that this grey-suited Johnny might be a bit of a usual suspect and local resident in the area.

Nathan surfing Q-Bay months prior to the incident. Image © Tyrell Jordaan

Nathan surfing Q-Bay months prior to the incident. Image © Tyerelle Jordaan

You may recall the incident in 2010, where former South African pro surfer, Greg Emslie, stared down a 4-metre Great White while surfing the same point. Greg was out with fellow pro surfer Rosy Hodge, who was paddling into the danger-zone, when Greg was circled, charged and buzzed by the shark, both escaping unscathed. Then again in 2013, Mark Bracey had a very close call at the same spot and suffered some grazes to his leg as the shark narrowly missed and chomped the side of his surfboard instead.

Just a reminder to all surfers (and other ocean users) out there, especially along that patch of coast, play it safe, keep ’em peeled and if it feels even the slightesst bit sketchy remember that discretion is the better part of valour… even when it’s cooking!

Queensberry Bay, East London. Image © Tyrell Jordaan

Tempting… Queensberry Bay, East London. Image © Tyerell Jordaan

*Lead Image: Aerial of Queensberry Bay, East London, Eastern Cape © Bruce Viaene

1 Comment

  1. Craig Drysdale
    8 July, 2016 at 3:16 pm · Reply

    Can anyone elaborate on the go-pro pic? I cant make sense of the image. Lucky dude.

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