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April 19, 2021

Two large sharks sighted off Ballina beaches

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Beaches will remain closed between South Ballina and Lennox Head again until further notice following shark sightings late yesterday (Wednesday February 11).

Aerial patrols sighted a four-metre shark near Flat Rock and a three-metre shark near Ballina Bar around 5.30pm.

The situation will be reassessed tomorrow with public safety being the paramount consideration.

Beaches in the area have been closed since 41-year-old Ballina surfer Tadashi Nakahara was fatally attacked by a great white shark at Shelly Beach on Monday (February 9).

Separately, Byron Bay surfer Jebez Reicman was attacked by a three- to four-metre bull shark on Sunday at Seven Mile Beach.

At the request of the council, Lennox Head Main Beach, the only beach currently patrolled by the Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) in Ballina Shire, has been closed to the public. Signs have been erected at other beaches from Ballina Lighthouse north, warning the public to remain clear of the water.

Lifeguards stationed at Lighthouse Beach and council personnel will be out along the coast today to keep the public informed and advise them to stay out of the water.

NSW ALS Co-ordinator Brent Manieri said the service was assisting council to keep the public clear of the water in the interest of safety.

Mr Manieri also said the ALS will continue to work with council, NSW Police and other emergency agencies as required, and urged the public to comply with beach signage and the directions of lifeguards or council personnel.

Police are urging the public to stay out of the water until conditions are considered to be safe.

Shark database

Members of LeBa Boardriders Club have called for a database to be set up, with president Don Munro saying there are a ‘lot of unreported incidents’ and that local surfers believe ‘shark numbers are on the rise’.

‘We need the data so we can better understand the situation,’ he told the Gold Coast Bulletin on Thursday.

‘Hundreds’ of dolphins have also been reported swimming along the coast. Like the sharks, they are also chasing bait fish, SCU marine ecologist Dr Daniel Bucher has said.



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