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The mother who was brutally beaten 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 “love of her life” Diego Milesi, 40, to a sun-drenched 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 after Covid.
Just before 8am yesterday, Kimon entered the water for an early morning swim. It was said that she only got to her waist when the great white attacked by a wave with her family a few meters away.
Witnesses said the sea around Kimon was “turning red” and fellow swimmers fled the water screaming and made a desperate call to the local lifeboat for help, but it was too dangerous for the locals to enter.
Kimon Bisogno, 39, was brutally bitten to death by a great white shark while on vacation 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 ‘love of her life’ Diego Milesi (pictured together)
Just before 8am yesterday, Kimon entered the water for an early morning swim.
The National Sea Rescue Institute’s coastal vessel was launched and quickly arrived to find Kimon’s blood-soaked body floating in the surf about 50 yards from where she was attacked.
The immediate attack was so brutal that nothing could be done to save the young mother when rescuers pulled her badly bitten body onto a stretcher and returned to base.
Forensic pathologists will perform an autopsy and an inquest, and her family has been offered trauma therapy.
Normally, large white shark victims quickly die from blood loss when their arteries are cut by the razor-sharp teeth.
It was the second death at the same idyllic resort in just three months and the third in 11 years and the beach was closed and shark warning signs posted.
Last night, close friend Carmin Commins said on Facebook, “I’ve been flipping your page over and over in the hopes it’s 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 immediate 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 fast, but what I do know is that everyone you’ve met touched their lives with your love.
The world really lost a bright shining light and pure soul that left happiness, laughter, glitter and kindness wherever you went.
“You were so genuine with so much love in your heart,” she said.
Another friend Gabrielle Alberts said: ‘What sad news. I will forever remember your happy, infectious smile. RIP Kimon – too good for this earth’.
South African Kimon met the love of her life Diego 13 years ago on holiday in Ibiza and they moved in together in her native Cape Town and five years ago they had daughter Luna.
Diego said on a Facebook video last posted: “Our love story goes back 13 years. I couldn’t speak English. You couldn’t speak Italian. But we got in touch through cooking.’
They founded the popular Fernando’s Pizza restaurant and takeaway in Cape Town, but both were determined to help the less fortunate in life.
A close friend of the couple said: ‘They worked very hard and worked long hours, but both were very far away from their social responsibilities towards others.
They founded the popular Fernando’s Pizza restaurant and takeaway in Cape Town, but both were determined to help the less fortunate in life
“They helped run the Obs Pasta Kitchen, which served delicious and literally life-saving meals to the poor and hungry every Wednesday.
“Both believed very much in saving the planet and were hippie types who saw the best in everyone and making money was just a means of helping others.
“They were blessed when Luna was born 5 years ago and made a perfect family and the news of her passing in such a way has left us all in pieces.
“She was such a perfect loving wife and mother – why her?” she said.
The municipality of Bitou, which oversees the beach, has closed off the bay and put up shark signs and lifeguards to keep tourists out of the water.
Kimon — known to friends as Kiki — was the third to be killed by a great white shark there in 11 years.
Last June, stockbroker and married father Bruce Wolov, an acclaimed long-distance swimmer and avid snorkeler, was mauled just offshore.
Kimon – known to friends as Kiki – was the third to be killed by a great white shark there in 11 years
Forensic pathologists will perform a post mortem and an inquest, and her family has been offered trauma therapy
And in 2011, local carpenter and avid surfer Tim Van Heerden was sitting on his board when a great white shark attacked while waiting to catch a wave.
It bit him horribly on the attack and he was knocked into the sea and when he grabbed his plank the Great White tore him fatally a second time.
Despite a brave friend grabbing him and taking him to rocks, he sustained massive bite marks to his groin and thigh, severing an artery.
Bitou Mayor David Swart said: ‘Until 2011, we had never had a fatality and now we have three with two of them in the last three months.
“We are investigating and looking at installing a shark barrier and raised warning signs and are starting our lifeguard’s season a month earlier than usual.
“Shark behavior doesn’t seem to change in this area, so it’s a bit of a mystery why we’ve had three fatal attacks in such a short time.
“Our thoughts go out to the woman and her family at this time,” he said.
In South Africa, the weekend was a holiday for Heritage Day and for many a time for a sunny holiday to celebrate with family and friends.
Great white sharks can grow up to 6 meters long, weigh 2 tons and have up to 300 razor-sharp serrated teeth in rows in their giant jaws.
In 2011, local carpenter and avid surfer Tim Van Heerden was on his board when a great white shark attacked while waiting to catch a wave
Last June, stockbroker and married father Bruce Wolov (pictured), an acclaimed long-distance swimmer and avid snorkeler, was torn apart just offshore
The predator can swim up to 55 mph when attacked, guided by an extremely powerful sense of smell and normally prey on seals, sea lions and dolphins.
People are often mistaken for seals, especially when in wet suits, and experts say attacks are not intentional, but “experimental” when biting.
They usually go away after biting once when they realize that humans are not their natural prey, but the damage done by just one shark bite is often fatal.
In the past 25 years, 37 people have been killed in shark attacks off the coast of South Africa and going back to 1950, the number is rising to 66 falling victim to their jaws.
Shark activity along the Garden Route from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town increases in winter as a result of the annual sardine run – an important food source.
A South African shark expert, who asked not to be named, said: ‘Don’t forget that the ocean has always been shark’s territory – they rule.
“There are more and more people in the water these days with surfing and paddle boarding and swimming and the sharks are always there.
“But they don’t look for people and attacks are rare and usually not intended because they are mistaken for prey, but the results are often deadly.”
“You are 47 times more likely to be killed by lightning or 11 times more likely to be killed by fireworks than by a shark,” he said.