Swimmer, 77, believed dead after shark attack off Cape

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The Independent Online

A 77-year-old woman taking an early morning swim in Cape Town yesterday became the third victim of shark attacks in the tourist hot spot this year.

A 77-year-old woman taking an early morning swim in Cape Town yesterday became the third victim of shark attacks in the tourist hot spot this year.

Tyna Webb is now presumed dead after what eyewitnesses said was a savage attack by a great white shark at Fish Hoek beach, a large bay south of Cape Town.

Craig Lambinon, of South Africa's National Sea Rescue Institute, said a large shark had earlier been spotted in the area.

The last shark attack in the Cape was in April when a 16-year-old surfer was mauled and left seriously injured.

A 15-mile stretch of Cape coastline was closed to the public yesterday after the attack. Coast guard authorities insisted that shark attacks remained rare there.

"The sharks are always there. There are always sightings, but shark attacks are few and far between," said Dave Roberts, a sea rescue officer.

Paul Bennett, a naval officer with the False Bay yacht club, saw the attack from his house in Fish Hoek. He said: "This huge shark was thrashing at something in the water. I thought it was a seal but then saw that it was a lady.

"It left her floating in the water. Then its whole mouth came out of the water and it took her down."

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