The mother who was brutally mauled to death by a great white shark while on holiday with her family in South Africa has been named.
Restaurant owner Kimon Bisogno, 39, had taken a Bank Holiday weekend away from the pizza house she ran in Cape Town with the ‘love-of-her-life’ Diego Milesi, 40, to a sun-kissed beach in Plettenberg Bay.
The couple and their daughter Luna, five, drove 300 miles from their home to the luxury Beacon Isle hotel complex for three days, to relax after rebuilding their business post-Covid.
Just before 8am yesterday, Kimon went into the water for an early morning dip and was said to be only waist deep when the great white attacked through a wave with her family yards away.
Witnesses said the sea around Kimon ‘turned red’ and fellow swimmers fled the water screaming and a desperate call went out to the local lifeboat for help but it was too dangerous for locals to go in.
Kimon Bisogno, 39, has been brutally mauled to death by a great white shark while on holiday with her family
Restaurant owner Kimon Bisogno, 39, had taken a Bank Holiday weekend away from the pizza house she ran in Cape Town with the ‘love-of-her-life’ Diego Milesi (pictured together)
Just before 8am yesterday, Kimon went into the water for an early morning dip and was said to be only waist deep when the great white attacked (file image)
The inshore craft from the National Sea Rescue Institute was launched and was quickly on the scene and found Kimon’s blood-soaked body floating in the surf about 50 yards out from where she was attacked.
The instant attack was so brutal that nothing could be done to save the young mother as the rescuers pulled her badly bitten body onto a stretcher and returned to base.
Forensic pathologists will carry out a post mortem and an inquest will be held, and her family have been offered trauma counselling.
Normally great white shark victims die quickly of blood loss when their arteries are severed by the razor-sharp teeth.
It was the second death in the same idyllic resort in just three months and the third in 11 years and the beach was closed down and shark warning signs erected.
Last night close friend Carmin Commins said on Facebook: ‘I have scrolled through your page over and over again and hoping that it is a mistake.
The couple and their daughter Luna, five, drove 300 miles from their home to the luxury Beacon Isle hotel complex for three days
The instant attack was so brutal that nothing could be done to save the young mother
‘I don’t know how the world could let someone like you go too soon but what I do know is that anyone that you met you touched their life with your love.
‘The world truly lost a bright shining light and pure soul who left happiness, laughter, glitter and kindness where ever you went.
‘You were so genuine with so much love in your heart’ she said.
Another friend Gabrielle Alberts said: ‘Such sad news. I will remember your joyous, infectious laugh forever. RIP Kimon – too good for this earth’.
South African Kimon met the love of her life Diego on holiday in Ibiza 13 years ago and they moved in together in her native Cape Town and five years ago had daughter Luna.
Diego said on a Facebook video posted last hear: ‘Our love story goes back 13 years. I couldn’t speak English. You couldn’t speak Italian. But we connected through cooking.’
They set up the popular Fernando’s Pizza restaurant and takeaway in Cape Town but both were committed to helping out the less fortunate in life.
A close friend of the couple said: ‘They worked very hard and very long hours but both of them were very away of their social responsibilities to others.
They set up the popular Fernando’s Pizza restaurant and takeaway in Cape Town but both were committed to helping out the less fortunate in life
‘They helped run he Obs Pasta Kitchen which served up delicious and literally lifesaving meals to the poor and starving every Wednesday like clockwork.
‘Both believed very much in saving the planet and were hippy types who saw the best in everyone and earning money was just a means to help others.
‘They were blessed when Luna was born 5 years ago and were a perfect family and the news of her passing in such a way has just left us all in bits.
‘She was such a perfect loving wife and mum – why her?’ she said.
The Bitou Municipality which oversees the beach has hut down the Bay and put up shark signs and posted lifeguards to keep tourists out of the water.
Kimon – know as Kiki to friends – was the third to be killed by a great white shark there in 11 years.
Just last June stockbroker and married dad Bruce Wolov who was an acclaimed long-distance swimmer and keen snorkeller was torn apart just off-shore.
Kimon – know as Kiki to friends – was the third to be killed by a great white shark there in 11 years
Forensic pathologists will carry out a post mortem and an inquest will be held, and her family have been offered trauma counselling
And in 2011 local carpenter and keen surfer Tim Van Heerden was on his board when a great white shark attacked while he was waiting to catch a wave.
It horrifically bit him in the attack and he was knocked into the sea and as he grabbed his board the Great White tore into him a second time fatally.
Despite a brave pal grabbing him and getting him to rocks he had suffered massive bite wounds to his groin and upper leg which severed an artery.
Bitou Municipality Mayor David Swart said: ‘We have never had a fatality until 2011 and now we have had three with two of those in the last three months.
‘We are researching and looking at putting up a shark barrier and increased warning signage and start our lifeguard’s season a month earlier than usual.
‘There seems to be no change in the shark’s behaviour in this area so it is a bit of a mystery why we have had three fatal attacks in such a short space of time.
‘Our thoughts go out to the woman and her family at this time’ he said.
In South Africa the weekend was a Bank Holiday for Heritage Day and a time for many for a sunshine break away to celebrate with family and friends.
Great white sharks can grow up to 20 feet long and weigh 2 tonnes and have up to 300 razor sharp serrated teeth arranged in rows in its giant jaws.
In 2011 local carpenter and keen surfer Tim Van Heerden was on his board when a Great White Shark attacked while he was waiting to catch a wave
Just last June stockbroker and married dad Bruce Wolov (pictured) who was an acclaimed long distance swimmer and keen snorkeller was torn apart just off-shore
The predator when attacking can swim at up to 35mph guided by an extremely powerful sense of smell and normally prey on seals, sea lions and dolphins.
Humans are often mistaken for seals especially when in wet suits and attacks are said by experts not to be intentional but ‘experimental’ when biting.
They usually move away after biting once when they realise the human is not their natural prey but the damage done by just one shark bite is often fatal.
In the last 25 years 37 people have been killed in shark attacks off South Africa and going back as far as 1950 the figure rises 66 falling victim to their jaws.
Shark activity along the Garden Route from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town increases in winter due to the annual sardine run – an important food source.
A South African shark expert, who asked not to be named, said: ‘You have to remember the ocean has always been the territory of the shark – they rule.
‘There are more and more people in the water these days what with surfing and paddle boarding and swimming and the sharks are always ever present.
‘But they are not seeking out humans and attacks are rare and usually not intended as they are mistaken for prey but the results are often fatal.
‘You have 47 time more chance of being killed by lightning or 11 times more chance of being killed by fireworks than being killed by a shark’ he said.