Authorities in Australia are closing a beach for a record six days, saying it’s too risky to reopen beaches with a 15-foot shark lurking near the coast.
A great white shark of this size could bite someone in half, says Nobbys Beach inspector Paul Bernard.
“You don’t get a second chance with these things, a bite can be fatal,” he said. “We’ve never had a shark this size hanging around.”
The inspector, who was just metres away from the shark in Newcastle on Australia’s east coast, said it had been sighted numerous times.
The shark was last seen by water police in a boat at about 2.30pm on Tuesday at Burwood Beach, near Merewether Beach where it was first sighted on Saturday afternoon.
As a result, beaches have remained closed.
Mr Bernard said the council was taking the decision seriously, especially as beach kiosks and businesses could be affected.
“Would I go into the water? Would I put my kids in the water? No,” Mr Bernard said. “I didn’t even go ocean ski paddling on my day off yesterday.”
The shark has been sighted in an area stretching 10km to 12km.
Increased marine activity and overcast and warm weather are thought to be possible reasons for the shark’s prolonged presence.
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