Monday, July 27, 2015

Australian beaches close following shark sightings

Four beaches on Australia's east coast were closed yesterday after numerous shark sightings, police said, as authorities patrolled waters off a southern island after a fatal attack on a diver a day earlier.

New South Wales police said the beaches at Ballina, where a bodyboarder was severely injured this month and a Japanese surfer killed in February, would be closed for 24 hours.

"About 9:30am a large shark was spotted swimming about 50 meters off Angels beach," police said, adding that there were other sightings.

"It is believed the presence of baitfish has attracted large sharks to the area."

Surf Life Saving NSW said aerial, jet ski and boat patrols were being conducted off Ballina, a popular tourist spot 740 kilometers north of Sydney.

The sightings came a day after a scallop diver, named as Damian Johnson by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and aged in his late 40s, was attacked by a shark off Maria Island in the southern state of Tasmania as his daughter watched.

Johnson was hauled to the surface but did not survive.

Tasmanian police and fishing boats patrolled waters off Maria Island yesterday, with people warned to stay away.

  Shanghai Daily -

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