Shark sighting closes beach

YEPPOON Main Beach was closed for an hour on Christmas Eve after a shark was spotted within 200 metres of the lifeguard flags.

Lifeguard on duty Ben Waddell said he saw the shark around 12.30pm and sounded the shark alarm to get all the swimmers out of the water.

The beach was closed for an hour although Ben said the shark had disappeared soon after it was first spotted.

He said he was unable to see what sort of shark it was, because of a large amount of scum in the water but said it wasn’t terribly big.

The sighting on Thursday follows the attack by a bull shark in which 19-year-old John Pengelly received deep lacerations to his wrist and lower forearm while spearfishing 44 nautical miles east of Gladstone last weekend.

John was spearfishing with fellow members of the Curtis Coast Spearfishing Club when the shark came from below and bit him.

Earlier this week Tony Han, manager of the Queensland Shark Control Program, had warned the little bits of rain we had received and warmer water temperatures meant sharks would be around.

“The reality is, inshore we do see a bit more movement of sharks at this time this year.”

To ensure you have a safe and enjoyable summer he said it was all about being more alert and aware, and following a few simple rules such as swimming at patrolled beaches, not swimming alone and not swimming on dusk.

While globally shark numbers were declining Tony said the barrier reef areas would always have fairly healthy numbers, so if out in the water, particularly diving or spear fishing, it paid to have a plan if a shark does turn up.

“We are just making sure that people have a think about where they swim and when they swim this summer.”

There were no reported shark sightings on Christmas Day.



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