A keen bodyboarder, who was due to get married next month, is believed to have been attacked and taken by a giant Great White shark near Chintsa, 38km north east of East London. Computer technician Robert Frauenstein (38) disappeared off the coast of South Africa during his final surf of the morning in the Indian Ocean. A Great White had been spotted in the vicinity earlier this week.
Friends went looking for him when he failed to return from the beach near Chintsa where he lived on the Wild Coast, in the Eastern Cape… but could find no trace of him.
Eventually they found his bright yellow and pink bodyboard washed up on the beach with a huge bite mark taken out of it, which experts said was from a Great White.
Despite a major search by two helicopters and the National Sea Rescue Institution (NSRI) and friends in motor boats, there has been no sign of the groom-to-be.
A close friend said: “We have come to accept the Great White took Robert and it is probably unlikely that we will ever find him if the shark took him fully.
“Robert loved the surf and his bodyboarding and the Chintsa community is in shock. His fiancée Jana Hiles is absolutely distraught. They were due to wed.
“Helicopters have been out and the lifeboats and local fishermen, but there is no sign of him or the big Great White which had been spotted from the air in the vicinity earlier this week.
“We just hope it was quick and we are just shocked to lose him,” he said.
His prospective sister-in-law Kerry Hiles said:
“On behalf of my family I wish to thank all those who have offered their support emotionally in so many incredible ways.
“Teeth marks on Robert’s bodyboard are confirmed as that of a very large Great White shark and possible the same shark spotted from the air earlier in the week out there.
“We take comfort in the fact Robert was doing what he loved and his untimely demise would have been as swift, painless and without struggle as u could hope for.
“I ask that you keep Rob’s mother Stephanie and brother Ed in your thoughts and especially my sister Jana Hiles to who Robert would have been wed next month.
“We acknowledge that the rescue mission has now become a recovery exercise and thank you in advance for understanding as we move into a space for grieving.”
NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon, who said his crews were out searching for the missing bodyboarder, has handed the matter over to the police.
He urged caution to surfers and swimmers in the area where Robert went missing.
The largest Great White is believed to be a shark known as Deep Blue, recorded off the coast of Hawaii, measuring an estimated 21 feet and estimated to weigh approximately 2.5 tons.
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