Shark surf warning comes from the sky
SURFERS were warned out of the water at Yamba yesterday with some help from some eyes in the sky.
With sightings at local beaches coming more often in the wake of a tragic death at Minnie Water weeks ago, aerochute pilot Max Bell discovered the shark while flying high over Yamba.
“The white pointers are easy to pick,” he said. “They have a thick tail; the other shark’s tails go really skinny.
Mr Bell said that the shark was just behind where the waves were breaking near Lovers Point.
“There was a big school of salmon between Lovers Point and Flat Rock, I reckon that’s what he was chasing,” he said.
“They’ve gone in too far for him to get at it, and then he started heading back.”
Mr Bell said he lowered his craft and tried jinking about to get some attention.
“I think one of them may have seen him, but they all started to head in,” he said.
“There was quite a few out around on Convent Beach, but you can’t chase everyone out. You have to be careful flying these over water.”
It’s not the first time he’s raised the alarm from on high. 18 months ago, he spotted another white pointer from a similar area.
“The last guy got the message pretty quick,” he said. “I rang up the surf club to tell them, and he had tripped the buoy, so he was tagged.
“I’ll be interested to see if this one set off the buoy as well.”
According to shark tracking site Dorsal, there were three detections near Yamba yesterday, with a tagged shark detected near the Main Beach sensor on Tuesday night.
Multiple reports have come into the site over the past weeks of sharks acting aggressively near the area, and Dorsal site owner Sarah Beardmore said the reports were actively verified.
As for Mr Bell, he said apart from the occasional interruption from shark sightings, his trips over the Clarence were spectacular.
“It’s glorious. When there’s a bit of fog around you get a great view,” he said.
“It’s only very slow, and it’s probably the easiest flying you’ll get.”