It's been 3 days plus since the shark attack on our beach last Saturday. The search by boats and helicopters for the missing diver has been scaled back having found no site of him except for the bit of his wetsuit found soon after the attack. The 51-year old man was an experienced diver and fisherman who lived just off the beach not far from us.
Our beaches here were reopened on Monday afternoon. However, we noticed some increased activity by the beach this morning (Tuesday), and so I rode my bike over there to see what was up. A news helicopter was in the sky, two policeman were next to me at the lookout, a boat was patrolling the water, and a 4-wheel ATV was on the beach. Later this afternoon we found out that they were there because there was another sighting of a shark at about 9:30am. It was "menacing" two fishermen in a small dinghy, and a patrol boat later followed it out to deeper waters. So the beach was marked with "closed" signs. Yet there were a number of people ankle deep in the water and even some in further. One mother was sitting with water up to her neck while playing with her toddler. The policemen said there isn't much they can do to force people out of the water even when it's marked closed.
The news story about today's shark sighting can be read here. That web page also has a video newscast about today's shark sighting, and if you watch further, the newscast continues with a shocking story from our Rockingham Golf Club (where Lanette and I golfed with the roos in October) where some kids have been sneaking in and mutilating kangaroos.
There have been other sightings of sharks near Perth and also near Sydney (east coast) in recent days, and being the summer holidays, it's getting lots of news coverage. Last night I was watching Fox News from the US - the America's Newsroom show with Bill Hemmer. They had a segment about the sharks in Australia and talked to an expert from Florida about the attacks on people. They showed some of the video footage from our beach here in Warnbro.
According to the International Shark Attack File from the University of Florida, there had only been 37 reported shark attacks in Western Australia between the year 1700 until 2007 (see map showing attack data here). That's why they're saying this is so rare. Our local paper today had an article with quotes from experts, police, and the mayor downplaying the risks of swimming and encouraging people not to be afraid to go in the water... once the beaches are opened again.
Obviously we haven't been in the water here since the shark attack. With a few busy days ahead of us preparing for a New Years Eve party at our house and our camping trip, we probably won't think about it. With the temps going up and over 100°F, it would be nice to take a cool dip in the ocean.