How the tide turned for the Hassiem brothers after their 2006 shark ordeal

In 2006, two brothers survived a shark attack at Cape Town's Muizenberg beach that changed the course of their lives.

Achmat Hassiem lost his lower right leg, while trying to save his younger brother, Taariq Hassiem in the water.

Achmat, otherwise known as 'Shark Boy', went on to become a Paralympic swimmer, representing South Africa in Beijing, London and Rio.

Achmat retired from his competitive swimming career after the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016, in order to focus solely on marine conservation work.

Read: How local surf champ Alfonso Peters used surfing to escape the streets

The marine conservationist says joining the cause has helped increase his awareness and maintains that he does not regret saving his brother.

I wouldn't change a thing. A leg is nothing to lose compared to the life of my brother.

Achmat Hassiem, former Paralympic Swimmer and marine conservationist

I've achieved everything I wanted to achieve within the sport itself.

Achmat Hassiem, former Paralympic Swimmer and marine conservationist

I figured now is the time to get full into conservation and try save the planet we live on and make Shark Boy an actual household superhero name.

Achmat Hassiem, former Paralympic Swimmer and marine conservationist

Over 100 million sharks are killed per year on average.

Achmat Hassiem, former Paralympic Swimmer and marine conservationist

Achmat has also taken on some new adventures, training to become a Paralympic bodybuilder and starting a YouTube channel titled 'shark boy vlogs'.

At the same time, Taariq has been competing at an international level as a lifesaver and plans to take on the 2018 Lifesaving World Champs in Australia with his club.

My brother is always pushing me harder, to the next level.

Taariq Hassiem, False Bay Surf lifeguard

I do think about the shark... I'm a water boy, I love surfing and kneeboarding.

Taariq Hassiem, False Bay Surf lifeguard

The pair spoke about the fateful day of the shark attack, how it affected their and their budding individual careers - both involving water.

Take a listen to their inspiring stories:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : How the tide turned for the Hassiem brothers after their 2006 shark ordeal


Recommended

by THE NEWSROOM

702 welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the 702 community a safe and welcoming space for all.

702 reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

702 is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
How local surf champ Alfonso Peters used surfing to escape the streets

How local surf champ Alfonso Peters used surfing to escape the streets

Cape Town surf instructor Alfonso Peters shares how he overcame the odds, from juvenile delinquent to world surfing competitor.

White sharks washed ashore may have been killed by orcas

White sharks washed ashore may have been killed by orcas

A female shark nearly 5m long first washed up near Gansbaai.

SA surf heroes honoured with Cape monument at Muizenberg  beach

SA surf heroes honoured with Cape monument at Muizenberg beach

The 'walk of fame' site will be SA’s first national monument dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage of surfing.

Surfer tells of his encounter with great white shark

Surfer tells of his encounter with great white shark

Ben Swart says he was lucky to get out of the water unharmed after having an encounter with a shark on Monday.

Surfer describes frightening encounter with great white shark

Surfer describes frightening encounter with great white shark

The man was struck off his surf ski by a great white shark while paddling off the coast of Plettenberg Bay.

Dramatic video shows close call with Great White in shark cage

Dramatic video shows close call with Great White in shark cage

In the video clip that emerged this week, the shark is seen breaching the cage, grabbing some bait, while a diver is still inside.

 Inspiration Wednesday: How SA surfer survived almost 30 hours lost in the sea

Inspiration Wednesday: How SA surfer survived almost 30 hours lost in the sea

Brett Archibald shares his inspirational story of how he survived in the sea before finally being rescued.

SA bodyboarder saves surfer from drowning in Hawaii

SA bodyboarder saves surfer from drowning in Hawaii

Andre Botha, a local professional bodyboarder recently rescued an American surfer from drowning in Hawaii.

Popular articles
I was not introduced to Ajay Gupta - Grootes

I was not introduced to Ajay Gupta - Grootes

Stephen Grootes says he believes former Eskom CEO Brian Dames when said he was not formally introduced to the Gupta family.

Minister Zwane confirms trips to Dubai and Switzerland

Minister Zwane confirms trips to Dubai and Switzerland

EWN parliamentary correspondent Gaye Davis says Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane received detailed and tough questions.

Zweli Mkhize 'taken by surprise' with latest cabinet reshuffle

Zweli Mkhize 'taken by surprise' with latest cabinet reshuffle

The ANC treasurer-general confirmed Mantashe’s comments that the President did not consult the ANC leadership on the reshuffle.

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

The EFF lawyer stole the show during the state capture report court battle.

How to make your first million

How to make your first million

Warren Ingram discusses his new book in which he shares practical ways for ordinary people to achieve financial freedom.

'Collect experiences, NOT possessions!' - Paul Theron (Vestact MD)

'Collect experiences, NOT possessions!' - Paul Theron (Vestact MD)

Bruce Whitfield interviews the razor-sharp tongued Vestact MD Paul Theron about his money hopes, fears, successes, failures, etc.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Meet Errol Musk - father of Elon, the most innovative entrepreneur of our age

Meet Errol Musk - father of Elon, the most innovative entrepreneur of our age

Elon Musk, as you’d expect, hails from an exceptional family. Bruce Whitfield interviews his Capetonian father.