Australian beaches reopen as sharks scram

2015-01-19 09:19

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - Australian beaches which had closed due to sightings of large sharks for a record nine days, reopened on Monday, officials said, but rough surf kept most swimmers away.

A five-metre great white estimated to weigh 1 700kg and nicknamed Bruce was first spotted off Merewether Beach near Newcastle north of Sydney on 10 January.

Several other sharks, including tiger sharks feeding on dolphins, were also seen along the coast, prompting the closure of all six Newcastle beaches despite sweltering summer temperatures.

Authorities reopened the beaches on Monday after jetski patrols found no sign of the animals, said Henry Scruton, president of the Hunter branch of Surf Life Saving New South Wales.

"The big one is the monster," Scruton said, referring to Bruce.

"Bruce, he has been sighted on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, definitely the Friday," Scruton told AFP.

"But I don't think they've sighted him again this weekend."

Sharks are a regular feature in Australian waters and swimmers and surfers have had their fair share of encounters with the animals this summer.

Some beaches to the north and south of Sydney were closed on the weekend due to shark sightings and a 17-year-old boy was hospitalised after he was bitten on the hand while spearfishing 230km south of Sydney on Friday.

Fatalities are rare in Australia but two teenagers died in shark attacks last month, one on the west coast and one on the east.

Scruton said there had been a number of sharks seen around Newcastle and the Hunter region this summer, with another large one taunting two fishermen on the weekend by circling and nudging their small boat.

"It felt like getting trapped in a room with an angry pit bull," one of those onboard, Tim Watson, told the Newcastle Herald.

"It wouldn't leave us alone. You almost wanted to stop and admire it but it was being pretty aggressive.

"It was as big as a wagon car -- that's what it felt like looking at it," Watson said.

Scruton said he hoped that Bruce had enjoyed his holiday in Newcastle and had moved on for good.

"He's worn out his welcome. We want him to go," he said.

"We've never had one come that was so big and stay for so long."

Read more on:    australia  |  marine life

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.