From Friday, 28 July 2006 – Fish Hoek, Cape Town, South Africa

It was supposed to be a normal Friday winding-down paddle from Fish Hoek to Roman Rock lighthouse and back.

Five paddlers were bunched together about 30m from the catwalk near Sunny Cove when a Great White shark attacked the ski closest to shore.

Bruce Neil was paddling on Lyle Maasdorp’s left when he saw the shark hit Lyle’s ski. “The back of the ski was lifted right out of the water as the shark breached,” Bruce said.

Lyle’s first impression was that someone was playing a trick on him. But, glancing over his right shoulder, he “saw something in the water” and knew that all was not well. Then he felt the back of the ski being forced under water by the weight of the shark. Lyle tried to stay on the ski, “I knew there would be serious admin if I fell off!” But as the ski tilted up, he slid off into the water right next to the shark.

Read the rest of the story and see great photos at