Thursday, 17 March 2011

Shark attack at Nelson Bay blows the dawn and dusk theory out of the water

In past posts I've often quoted the shark defenders' mantra: these predators of the deep only attack hapless humans who get in their way when the sharks are feeding around dawn and dusk.

I swam in Sydney Harbour last week with this comforting thought whooshing through my oh-so powerful arms and legs.

I now have to concede there are exceptions to the rule. At least one.

A great white shark yesterday mauled a 24-year-old woman after she fell off a wakeboard at Jimmy's Beach at Port Stephens on the NSW mid-north coast.

It has since been reported that the victim, Lisa Mondy, has had her left arm re-attached in a seven-hour operation.

The time of the attack wasn't dawn or dusk. It was LUNCH TIME - 1pm to be exact.

A local recreational fisherman told a news reporter that the ocean at this time of year is alive with baitfish, which attract sharks, and Jimmy's Beach is a known shark "hot spot".

He added that in the past five years he's noticed an increase in the number of sharks around Port Stephens. I'm talking about IN the water.

This is unnerving.

There could be valid reasons for the increase, but the following two are just me wildly speculating:

1. The water closer to the shore is cleaner because sewerage gets pumped further out.
2. The water is warmer than it used to be in the old days because of global warming?

Dunno. Don't care. I respect the shark, but I don't feel like a close encounter of any kind.


Richard said...

There used to be a good ocean swim at Hawks Nest - start in the bay and finish at Jimmys Beach. I did it in 2009. Beautiful clear water and white sand. The swim was cancelled last year after juvenile great whites were spotted gathering off Jimmy beach. And the swim wasn't even on the calendar this year.

BTW - How's that novel about the sharks and the oceanswimmers going? I was thinking maybe a bunch of ocean swimmers in a long distance race get separated from their support boats, as it starts getting dark and the water gets murky and they swim into a big school of baitfish ...

Shayne said...

Hahaha. That'd be a short - albeit bloody messy - story.