23 November 2004

Beaches closed after shark sightings

Sightings of several sharks cruising fairly close to shore along the False Bay coastline caused the temporary closure of some beaches at the weekend.

Senior law-enforcement inspector for the City of Cape Town Arnold Roberts said beaches from Muizenberg to Fish Hoek were temporarily closed on Friday and Saturday as sharks were sighted by spotters and law-enforcement officials along the False Bay coastline.

The first sighting, about 9am on Saturday, was of a shark that Roberts described as "huge and clearly visible".

He said it had been seen between St James and Bailey's Cottage, where there had been a few surfers in the water.

The shark was moving towards Surfer's Corner in Muizenberg, and Roberts estimated it to be, "six metres long". He said it was seen "hugging the rocks" about 100m from the shore and was "a beautiful thing to see".

Roberts said that despite the fatal shark attack on Sunny Cove resident Tyna Webb last Monday at Jagger Walk "the normal, average crowd" of beach-goers had continued to frequent popular bathing spots like Fish Hoek, St James and Muizenberg.

He said that beaches like Surfer's Corner, main and east beaches at Muizenberg and Sunrise Beach were all closed at different times at the weekend due to other isolated sightings. Swimmers were cautioned by lifeguards and municipal officers to leave the water until conditions proved safe, said Roberts.

He noted that people's attitudes had changed, "especially since the incident with teenage surfer JP Andrew from Lakeside earlier this year". JP lost a leg in a shark attack at Surfer's Corner, Muizenberg.

Swimmers and those visiting beaches had become more aware and careful of the possible danger in the water, said Roberts.


Post a Comment

<< Home