Shark sightings sound warning

SHARK PATROL: Swimmers in Currumbin Creek this week were doing the right thing by swimming in a patrolled area.
SHARK PATROL: Swimmers in Currumbin Creek this week were doing the right thing by swimming in a patrolled area.

PEOPLE who swim in unpatrolled waterways are putting their lives at risk, according to Gold Coast council Water Sustainability committee chairwoman and Division 13 Councillor Daphne McDonald.

Her warning comes after reports of a large shark, up to three metres in length, having been sighted in Tallebudgera Creek and adjacent canals.

"I'm very concerned about the sightings and the fact that children have been seen venturing into the water near the area where the large shark was sighted," she said.

"In conjunction with the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, we have been involved with education and media campaigns warning about the dangers of swimming in any creek, river or canal system which is unpatrolled."

Cr McDonald said the only areas that people are advised to swim in are those which are netted or flagged areas, patrolled by lifesavers and lifeguards.

"The recent sightings are just added proof of the dangers that lurk in these marine environments. They have to be seen for what they are ? areas where sharks, and other marine creatures, live and breed.

"There are ample patrolled and netted areas for swimming, along with Council and private pools. There is no need for anyone to risk their life by swimming in these areas."

Cr McDonald said that one of the most concerning reports had come from an canoeist who regularly trained in the waterways.

She said that the canoeist had sighted several 1.5-metre sharks that often "came under the canoe and gave them a nudge".

o?THE Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries has compiled a list of safety tips for swimmers:

o?Always swim at patrolled beaches and between the flags;

o?Do not swim in canals or near a river mouth;

o?Leave the water immediately if a shark is sighted;

o?Never swim alone;

o?Never swim at dawn, dusk or at night;

o?Do not swim in murky waters or near schools of fish;

o?Do not swim near or interfere with shark control equipment.

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