RAINBOW Bay was packed with Boxing Day holidaymakers yesterday
RAINBOW Bay was packed with Boxing Day holidaymakers yesterday

Sharks cruise close inshore



SHARK sightings at Kirra, Greenmount and Coolangatta on Christmas Day caused the beaches to be closed seven times for periods of up to 20 minutes.

Surf lifesavers called swimmers from the water while the sharks were herded away by a combination of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, jetski's and inflatable rescue boats.

Surf Life Saving Queensland operations manager Peter Dawes said the beaches were fairly busy between mid morning and midday on Christmas Day and busier yesterday but conditions were relatively calm with little swell.

He said beach goers had given lifesavers a happy Christmas with the large majority of people swimming in patrolled areas.

He said lifesavers were looking out for all dangers which is why it was so important to swim only in patrolled areas.

"With the shark sightings, it is important to remember that sharks are a natural part of the environment in the ocean, so there are times when they will come into shore," he warned.

"The water is murky at the moment on the southern end. By following the directions of the surf lifesavers on patrol, people can enjoy the beach more safely."

Mr Dawes said Boxing Day was traditionally the busiest day of the year on our beaches.

Yesterday more than 200 lifesavers were on the beaches of south-east Queensland at any one time and in support roles such as SurfCom Communication Centres, jet rescue boats, rescue water craft, 4WD vehicles and the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter.

During the peak holiday period lifesavers are performing extended patrols from 7am to 6pm (Queensland time) on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts and are supported by lifesavers doing roving patrols.

The Rescue Water Craft and Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter are also performing seven-day-a-week patrols during the school holidays.

On Christmas Day lifesavers recorded three rescues at Burleigh Heads and one rescue at Currumbin.



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