Shark snapped by surfer near Kingscliff
SOCIAL media is abuzz after photos were captured of a shark swimming near surfers at Kingscliff yesterday morning.
Surfer Zach Keen, who is originally from Coolangatta but lives in Brisbane, took the shots about 6.30am yesterday whilst in the water, near the northern end of Casuarina.
Upon arriving at The Reef about 5.45am, Mr Keen decided to take his camera out, as the swell was getting too busy to surf.
Within 45 minutes, he said another man next to him was shooting the surfers, while he looked the other way and spotted the 2.5 metre shark.
While he didn’t get a good enough look to identify the type of shark, Mr Keen said whalers and bullsharks frequented the area, along with a Great White which resides further out.
“I didn’t really get a great look at it,” Mr Keen said.
Mr Keen said the surfers had not long before been joking about “keeping their feet up”, when they saw a mass of baitfish in the water.
He said this was not uncommon at the moment, as those fishing off Nine Mile had been pulling in good hauls in recent weeks.
“A mate pulled up a tuna... and it had been bitten in half,” he said.
Mr Keen, who has seen a few sharks at the reef over the years, was not too concerned, as the clear water gave them some certainty and they could keep the shark in their sights.
“Because of how clear the water was I didn’t feel too uncomfortable, and obviously neither did anyone else,” he said.
He said the surfers stayed out there for hours, while the shark’s appearance lasted just minutes.
He said the reef’s break was the best it had been in at least 18 months.
“I surf it a lot,” he said.
“That wave hasn’t worked for about 18 months. It’s had a very crowded weekend over Easter.”
Comments on social media have ranged from those declaring an eye-rolling “of course there’s a shark in the ocean” to swimmers who might look twice in the water before their next dip.
Northern NSW Lifeguard coordinator Scott McCartney said it was not too uncommon to spot a shark at the Kingscliff reef.
“They’re surfing out on a reef not the normal surf break,” Mr McCartney said.
“So there’s a higher chance of seeing sharks.”