SYDNEY: Swimmers were ordered out of the water at Sydney’s Bondi Beach on Saturday after a shark was seen in the area, just hours after a dead great white was pulled from nets protecting bathers.
The New South Wales Department of Primary Industries said the carcass, which was found about 500 metres (yards) from the shoreline, was the second great white to be found in the nets designed to protect swimmers this week.
“A deceased male great white shark approximately 2.15 metres (seven feet) in length was retrieved from a shark net off the northern end of Bondi Beach this morning,” a spokeswoman said.
“A 1.1 meter stingray was found alive in the net and successfully released.”
Hours later swimmers cooling off from the hot weather were ordered out of the water when North Bondi life savers spotted a shark just off the beach.
Life guards launched jet skis to attempt to chase the shark out to sea but by the time they reached the area, they could not sight it, reports said, with swimmers allowed back into the water within the hour.
“It was a bit of excitement, that’s for sure. Everyone got out of the water very quickly,” witness Karl Hayes told the Sydney Morning Herald, adding that the shark appeared to be about three metres long.
On Wednesday a 2.5 metre great white was found dead during a regular inspection of the nets at Bondi which are designed to protect swimmers from the animals.
Popular beaches across Sydney and New South Wales state have been partially netted since 1937.
While the netting — which does not stretch the entire length of Bondi — is there to create a barrier between swimmers and sharks, it is also designed to stop the animals establishing territories where people use the water.
The department said there had not been a single fatal shark attack on a netted Sydney beach since the nets were introduced.
The nets occasionally catch marine animals, with official data for the 2012-2013 summer showing that more than 100 sharks became entangled in nets across New South Wales. Only three were great whites.
Contractors check the nets every 72 hours, weather permitting, and are required to free all live marine life found in the nets if it is practical and safe to do so.
Shark attacks in Sydney are rare, but deaths and injuries routinely occur around Australia.
In October two great whites were killed after a young surfer lost parts of both arms in an attack off the south coast of Western Australia.