Stab Magazine | 13-Year-Old Girl Battles 10-Foot Great White In South Africa

Live Now: How Surfers Get Paid — The Queens of Ascension

0 View

13-Year-Old Girl Battles 10-Foot Great White In South Africa

These ZAF shark headlines are bordering on hysteria. 

// Jul 19, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Fins and breaches have become to the J-Bay Open what tramp stamps and meth are to the U.S. Open. With a shark popping up in Filipe Toledo’s heat yesterday and WSL commish Kieren Perrow calling the comp off today after the Great White air show, the moral of the story is that South Africa’s sharky…but you already knew that. And while we almost expect CT heroes like Mick Fanning to ward off the jaws of death with their fists, it’s a whole different story when a creature in a grey suit tries to steal away a cute, little 13-year-old girl.

Enter the life and times of Zoe Steyn. Surfing this week at Nahoon Reef near East London, the teenager was reportedly sitting on her board about 75 meters offshore when the encounter occurred. Coming up from underneath, the shark, which was estimated to be approximately 10 feet in length, bit into her board.

Screen Shot 2017 07 18 at 12.46.02 PM

Yum.

“I just saw this huge black eye looking straight at me and a huge bang as it took my board and began shaking it,” Steyn told the local press. “It latched on with its jaws just missing my leg and it tipped me backwards and I fell in and I just saw the black shape of it in the water and panicked.”

“I heard another surfer screaming at me to get back on my board and I pulled myself onto it but was terrified of where the shark was and what to do. Then I saw a surfer friend, JP Veaudry, paddling straight out to get me and he told me not to think about the shark but just paddle for all I was worth,” she continued. “He kept asking me if I had been bitten by the shark but I said I didn’t know as I was in a state of shock and adrenaline was just pumping through my body.”

Consider the situation and celebrate the poise of Steyn. She’s only been surfing for three years and has never seen a shark in her life, yet she battled and paddled and came away with nary a scratch. It’s taken Fanning a couple years to put his shark incident behind him. They say kids are resilient; apparently, that’s true as Steyn was back out in the water the next day.

“My memory of it is this big black eye looking straight at me,” she said. “I can’t thank JP enough for risking his life to paddle out and save me and get back to shore. It has taught me never to surf alone ever again.”

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

Can Medina Overcome His CT Drought In Tahiti?

Tahurai Henry offers his picks for the SHISEIDO Tahiti Pro

May 21, 2024

The 35 Best Song Pairings In Surf Films, As Ranked By Dane Reynolds, Taylor Steele & You

From Noa Deane and Courtney Love, to Andy Irons and Coldplay, to Creed McTaggart and…

May 20, 2024

Is This The Most Cost Efficient Way To Noticeably Improve Your Surfing In A Single Month?

All you can eat for $1500 AUD at URBNSURF Melbourne.

May 20, 2024

Watch And Learn: How To Score A Solo Sesh At 8-Foot Teahupo’o With Leonardo Fioravanti

Skip lunch and gorge.

May 19, 2024

Full Frame: The Story Behind The Photo You’ve Seen 1,000 Times

A viral ménage à trois in Bali.

May 18, 2024

Meet The Man Who Runs Kelly Slater’s Burgeoning Surf Empire

The Stab Interview with Dylan Slater. 

May 18, 2024

How Surfers Get Paid: Season 2, Episode 4

80+ interviews later, it's time to "send out the chicks".

May 17, 2024

How To Get To Stab High Japan

BYO ligaments. 

May 16, 2024

CT Earlybirds, Tahitian Warlords, And Aspirational Teenagers Divide Spoils From “11 out of 10” Teahupo’o Blob

Eimeo Czermak, Balaram Stack, Liam O'Brien, Cannon Carr, and Ryan Miller divulge tales from the…

May 16, 2024

The Lefts Off The Rights

Detailing the goofy-footed proclivity to go against the grain.

May 15, 2024

Watch: ‘Shotgun’ featuring Josie Prendergast & Taj Richmond

The allure of contradiction, displayed in the virtue of Northern Rivers sand.

May 15, 2024

How Accurate Were Our Pre-Cut Predictions?

Reflecting on the rookie-centric forecasts offered by CJ Hobgood, Stace Galbraith, Brett Simpson, and Mikey…

May 14, 2024

Local Wildcard Jordy Lawler Dusts 79 Transplants, Issy Nichols Denies Prodigy Erin Brooks Another Plush Toy

The Stab High winner is one semi-final away from tour qualification after only two events.

May 14, 2024

Which 2024 Stab High Competitor Has Given Us The Best Surf Part?  

Noa Deane, Chippa Wilson, Julian Wilson, Ian Crane and more duel for the most impactful…

May 13, 2024

There Are Still Perfect, Empty Waves Left In The World

Soli Bailey, Timo Simmers + Layne Stratton on the sand-bottomed unicorn seen in ‘Maps to…

May 13, 2024

What Happened To Bali?

And is an ethical future for surf development possible in Indonesia?

May 12, 2024

Premium Peek: Mason Ho + Sheldon Paishon Vs A Scottish Widow Maker

Less like a wave, more like a German Panzer tank (180 tons, FYI).

May 12, 2024

Tactical Burn, Shove + Leash Pull Ends In Tears, Disqualification + Fines At ISA World Juniors 

The young Portuguese surfer has since apologized for her 'grevious unsportsmanlike conduct'. 

May 11, 2024
Advertisement