Ron Page took this photo at around noon Wednesday of a large shark swimming along the Coffs Harbour jetty.
Ron Page took this photo at around noon Wednesday of a large shark swimming along the Coffs Harbour jetty.

Swimmers not put off by close encounter with shark

Ron and Vicki Page are regular swimmers at Jetty beach and yesterday's close encounter with a shark won't be putting them off.

In summer they swim with other regulars, across from the concrete stairs to the timber Jetty at 6am, but now with the cooler weather they wait until 11am.

"But it was a bit windy yesterday so we decided to take a walk out along the Jetty instead," Ron said.

"We walked to the end and when we were coming back we heard a lady say there is a shark here. We walked to the north side and there it was coming from beach up towards where the jetty gets wider where the kids like to jump off."

Onlookers believe it may have been attracted by the mullet run which is in full swing at the moment.

The mullet run is on at the moment across the Coffs Coast. Photo by Robyn Hills.
The mullet run is on at the moment across the Coffs Coast. Photo by Robyn Hills.

Ron estimates it to be about 3.5 metres long.

After looking at the photo, Dolphin Marine Conservation Park veterinarian, Dr Duan March said: "based on the size of the second dorsal fin I would call that a Grey nurse.  It's hard to tell the size from the photo, but it looks pretty big."

Far from being scared off by the sighting, the 74-year-old says the close encounter was "cool".

"We've walked the jetty many times and we see dolphins regularly, and turtles, but we've never seen a shark before."

Ron and Vicki Page are regular swimmers at the Jetty and won't be put off by their close encounter with a shark there.
Ron and Vicki Page are regular swimmers at the Jetty and won't be put off by their close encounter with a shark there.

Ron is a vintage engine enthusiast and spends most Thursdays up at a property near Dairyville with others who share his passion.

"I go up with other guys and we muck around and play with old motors. It was such a nice day today though, that my wife Vicki said 'don't you go up there today, we should be going down to the beach swimming, there's no breeze and hopefully the seas are a bit calmer'."

The couple used to live in Canberra and after retiring they went on the lookout for a warmer climate and eventually settled in Coffs Harbour in 2011.

"We fell in love with the place. We looked at Grafton and Port but Coffs was the place we really liked."



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