13 January 2021

Ten sharks seen swimming beneath surfers at North Broulee Beach

| Hannah Sparks
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A surfer paddles out in the ocean.

Surfers were swimming above the sharks at North Broulee Beach on Wednesday morning. Photo: Tim Marshall.

Surfers and swimmers at North Broulee Beach were surprised to see 10 sharks joining them for a morning dip on Wednesday (13 January).

A local saw the approximately three-metre long sharks swimming less than 300 metres offshore as he flew over in his glider at 6:30 am.

He said there were a couple of swimmers in the water at the time, followed by paddle boarders and more swimmers at 8:00 am.

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Surfers were also in the water at 7:30 am and reported the sharks to the local Surf Life Saving Club.

The beach is unpatrolled and therefore remains open. However, Surf Life Savers visited the beach following the sighting and reported that the sharks had since moved on.

Lifeguarding Australia CEO Stan Wall said it wasn’t uncommon to see this many sharks close to the shore in summer.

A whale carcass in waters near Broulee had attracted more sharks to local waters in December. However, Stan said the carcass has since been removed from the water.

A boat neat the whale carcass at Broulee.

Sharks were also seen feeding off a whale carcass at Broulee in December. Photo: South Coast Photography.

“We’re not seeing any unnormal activity in the area and there were no reports that the sharks were doing anything other than swimming in their habitat,” he said.

However, he advised swimmers and surfers to be mindful at dusk and dawn and to the fact that there are a lot of baitfish in the water, which are a main food source for sharks.

“If there are pools of baitfish around, it’s probably not the best place to go swimming,” Stan said.

Stan also advised people to swim at patrolled beaches this summer.

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“If Surf Life Savers can’t see you, we can’t save you and interaction with sea animals is just one of the many reasons why we want people to swim at a patrolled beach,” he said.

Surf Life Savers will be patrolling Narooma Surf Beach, Dalmeny Beach, Tuross Head Main Beach, Moruya South Head Beach, Moruya North Beach, Broulee South Beach, Malua Bay Beach and Surf Beach seven days a week until 26 January.

These beaches have been busy during the school holidays, particularly as the temperature rose in the past week, which has also meant an increase in rescues.

“Just this week, one lifeguard did a double rescue and then they also did two other rescues during the day at Tuross Heads,” Stan said.

Those rescues were caused by people moving away from the flags and not listening to the lifeguards, as well as disregarding the patrolled areas.

More information about patrolled beaches in Eurobodalla Shire can be found online.

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