16 January 2011

16-year-old South African Surfer Dies in Shark Attack

16-year-old becomes fifth shark victim at Port St Johns in last three years
January 15, 2011

Zama Ndamase, a 2009 Surfing South Africa Scholarship recipient, died today in a horrific shark attack. The 16-year-old was surfing with his brother, Avuyile, and other members of the local surf club at Second Beach in Port St Johns when the attack occurred. The talented surfer is the fifth shark victim at this notorious beach in the last three years. Four of the attacks have been fatal. According to reports, Zama managed to catch a wave after being bitten and attempted to reach the shore. Tragically he bled to death in the water before he could be rescued by the lifeguards and rescue craft. View Non-Flash Version
Zama was one of the most talented surfers to emerge from this remote region and was a leader among the up-and-coming waveriders in the area. He represented Border at the SA Grommet Games and at the SA Junior Championships in Cape Town last October. He was awarded a SSA Surfing Scholarship in 2009 along with fellow Port St Johns surfer Zitobile Msesiwe.

Representatives and members of Border Surfriders Association, Surfing South Africa, Zama's long time coach and mentor Mike Gatke, his East London based teammates and the local surfers are devastated by the tragedy.

Malcome Logie of the BSA said of Zama: "He was a young guy, full of spirit and always ready for a laugh. He was always willing to help his teammates and enjoyed giving the younger surfers encouragement and advice. Border was looking to him to play a leading role in our team this year. His passing leaves us numb and with a huge sense of loss."

There is real concern that the surfers who were in the water during the attack will not be able to cope and plans are being made to send a counselor to the area to help the locals handle the tragedy.

The Port St Johns community is poor and there is precious little money to assist the Ndamase family deal with their grief nor are there funds available to pay for the costs of sending a counselor to help the community. The Border Surfriders Association and Surfing South Africa are therefore appealing for support to cover these expenses. All funds raised will be used to assist the Ndamase family with expenses and contribute to the costs of sending a grief counselor to work with the family and the community.

Any donations can be made to the following account:

Surfing South Africa
FNB Rondebosch 201509
50170019142 (current account)

Please include your name, contact number or email and ZAMA as the reference.

Compiled by Robin de Kock, General Manager, Surfing South Africa

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