Matt Wilkinson's incredible shark escape near Ballina caught on camera

Bronwyn Herbert
Swellnet Dispatch

Matt Wilkinson has narrowly avoided a shark attack while surfing near Ballina, in a terrifying encounter captured on camera.

A NSW Surf Life Saving drone alerted Wilkinson to the shark circling at Sharpes Beach.

"I heard a little splash behind me, looked back and there was nothing there, and then the lifeguards drone came down and said that there was a dangerous shark in the area," he said.

"The shark had kind of come at me from in front and then went around the back and had a little go at my legs, then last minute decided that my feet stunk or something and turned away."

It's not yet known what kind of shark it was.

"It could have been either a little white or a bull shark or a bronzie," Wilkinson said.

"It was probably about 8 foot long, it looked like it was a few feet longer than me," he said.

Matt Wilkinson said the shark was about 2.5 metres long.(Photo: WSL/Sloane)

The 32-year-old said while he has surfed near sharks in the past, this was incomparable.

"I'm feeling pretty lucky," he said.

"We get to see sharks a little bit out in the surf but that was definitely my closest encounter and I hope it doesn't get any closer than that."

It's a survival story he now shares with fellow Australian three-time world champion surfer, Mick Fanning, who was attacked by a shark at Jeffreys Bay in South Africa in 2015.

"His one was a little bit more wild than mine, but I guess I got to feel that weird, heart-sinking but lucky feeling when I saw that footage," Wilkinson said.

"But I'm still here in one piece and I'll live to surf another day."

//Bronwyn Herbert and Lily Mayers

© Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Comments

ozracer's picture
ozracer's picture
ozracer commented Wednesday, 7 Oct 2020 at 8:56pm

Lucky bloke and what could have been yet another bloody mess. Just how many attacks does it take before something less passive is done.

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo commented Wednesday, 7 Oct 2020 at 7:53pm

Interesting behaviour of the shark.

Looked to piss off in fear. I half expected it to chuck a u e and return.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 7 Oct 2020 at 8:00pm

Came in pretty hot for a look.
Juvenile white.

Dan K's picture
Dan K's picture
Dan K commented Wednesday, 7 Oct 2020 at 10:23pm

I'm calling Bull. For me the last third before the tail is way too thin for a juvenile white.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Wednesday, 7 Oct 2020 at 8:03pm

Agree remi, the way it knew to go around behind him and suss him out.

"It's a survival story he now shares with fellow Australian three-time world champion surfer, Mick Fanning," Bronwyn putting just a little tiny bit of mayo on it though with this sentence hehehe

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo commented Wednesday, 7 Oct 2020 at 10:00pm

Ah yes the creamy media mayo...

But kudos to her for having the guts, legitimately shoving that line into this story of survival.

Straddle barrel.... 8.51.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Wednesday, 7 Oct 2020 at 8:10pm

Fuckn hell..seem to have got spooked
Wilko close to having 2 Femur stumps .

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Wednesday, 7 Oct 2020 at 8:26pm

'please leave the water youv'e just been bitten by a bull shark'

simba

Groper's picture
Groper's picture
Groper commented Wednesday, 7 Oct 2020 at 10:06pm

Bwhahhhaha

Reform's picture
Reform's picture
Reform commented Wednesday, 7 Oct 2020 at 8:32pm

Possible the sound of the drone became evident to the shark as it neared the surface which spooked it. May the luck stay with you Wilko!

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Wednesday, 7 Oct 2020 at 8:33pm

Maybe the legrope floating behind Matt reminded it of a stingray's tail up and ready to strike for a split second - enough to make it hesitate...... this time.

95% of the attack approach was complete. One small step to go.

Frogg

mrkook's picture
mrkook's picture
mrkook commented Wednesday, 7 Oct 2020 at 8:40pm

Time to smoke a few of these grey men.

MK

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Wednesday, 7 Oct 2020 at 8:41pm

Bloody hell. Lucky Wilko! Glad all ended ok in this one.

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo commented Wednesday, 7 Oct 2020 at 8:53pm

If i heard it correctly during an interview on the radio this arvo young Wilko only heard a splash behind him and was otherwise unaware of what had just occurred.

So that begs the question with the advent of these drones and drone patrols, would you really want to see or know what just swam in behind you?

I couldn't answer that without a beer and some pondering.

bipola's picture
bipola's picture
bipola commented Wednesday, 7 Oct 2020 at 9:10pm

that was way too close
i wonder what changed the sharks mind?
it scared me just watching the video

wbat's picture
wbat's picture
wbat commented Wednesday, 7 Oct 2020 at 9:23pm

Is it a strong argument for those "shark eye" stickers? Make the shark think it is being watched/has been spotted.

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 6:43am

I think it is - sticker on each outside fin - make them more likely hesitate - they are curious and cautious.

Frogg

san Guine's picture
san Guine's picture
san Guine commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 12:04pm

I have them on all my boards. The idea behind them, although not definitively proven, makes me feel safer psychologically, especially when I'm paddling in on dark at Flinders!

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Wednesday, 7 Oct 2020 at 9:34pm

I find it bizarre that the drone had clearly spotted the shark before it got anywhere near wilko and yet they didn’t lower the drone and advise wilko until after the very near miss attack. Surely these gov funded drones and operators have a duty of care?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 6:58am

I'm not sure on the circumstances - whether the shark was being monitored prior - but judging by the footage there's about eight seconds between when the shark first comes into view, and when it nudges Wilko. IMO that's an extremely short window for a drone operator to properly evaluate the situation and issue an appropriate warning.

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 7:33am

I don’t believe we’re seeing the whole footage here. The drone clearly has the shark spotted well before the footage we’re being shown starts IMO.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 8:44am

That may well be the case, but still - this kind of technology is in its infancy - and the ability to communicate (one way!) with people in the water is an even more recent development.

Of course, there's another whole discussion around that very topic. From personal experience, having the Westpac chopper fly overhead and sound the shark siren doesn't necessarily force everyone out of the water, if they haven't actually seen a shark themselves. And, false alarms (actual, or perceived) will lessen future effectiveness.

So there's going to be a big learning curve around the way this project rolls out.

mpeachy's picture
mpeachy's picture
mpeachy commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 8:28am

This is what the drone guy said: "It sort of came out of nowhere, then went right up to Matt. It moved pretty fast. I was tracking it and notified the lifeguards and used the speaker on the drone to get everyone out of the water. Within 10 seconds it was at the surfer and five seconds later it was gone,"

billythekid's picture
billythekid's picture
billythekid commented Wednesday, 7 Oct 2020 at 9:36pm

So the drone was there as part of the shark mitigation program, but.....it didn't exactly stop the shark from nearly taking his foot off.

Groper's picture
Groper's picture
Groper commented Wednesday, 7 Oct 2020 at 10:05pm

Standard behaviour for a fish, see it all the time throwing lures. Fish firstly put themselves in a position to take advantage of opportunity, assess situation, then act. Spilt second decision. Positioned itself to take the tail end out, more standard behaviour. Part of the assess situation includes can the prey be successfully consumed, seen numerous examples of fish having choked to death when getting this wrong.

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Wednesday, 7 Oct 2020 at 10:36pm

"Shark chokes to death on Wilko!". That would have to be up there with his Bells win! hehe. Would probably eclipse Mickos punch at Jbay too.

Groper's picture
Groper's picture
Groper commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 5:39am
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 10:37am

Incredible!

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 6:38am

I have watched many fish approach lures or bait and for no clear reason dart away at the last moment. They sensed something was not right. Caution is a big part of being any sort of predator. I suspect the wilko situation has happened to us all many times over the years.

Frogg

icandig's picture
icandig's picture
icandig commented Wednesday, 7 Oct 2020 at 10:35pm

Surf Lifesaving NSW publish that with spooky music for what reason?
To educate / inform or perhaps to promote their drone program?
Why would they couple it with spooky shark music?
Why would they caption that it nudged Wilko when it appears to baulk at the last minute.
Surf Lifesavers do an amazing job and I don't like to criticise the organisation but I don't really understand the motive for posting this without considering a more sophisticated / informative edit.

**edit: I'll answer my own question here - poked around a bit because I was curious...

https://www.surflifesaving.com.au/news/pro-surfer-warned-shark-drone-bal...

It appears they would like to promote their new drone program. As for the video - I don't think they really gave much thought to how they should edit it. Probably done by a 16 year old clubby who knows how to use iMovie.

RogersSam's picture
RogersSam's picture
RogersSam commented Wednesday, 7 Oct 2020 at 10:35pm

fuck it... im starting my own cull

mrkook's picture
mrkook's picture
mrkook commented Wednesday, 7 Oct 2020 at 10:46pm

When and where I’ll join you

MK

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo commented Wednesday, 7 Oct 2020 at 11:09pm

Me also,,, fuck that shit.

megzee's picture
megzee's picture
megzee commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 12:40am

Go hard lads.....Proven shark cull technique is to get a rickety old wooden fishing boat....head out a few miles offshore......drink piss and tell shark stories.....and let the cull begin...
don't forget the dive bottles and trusty, but rusty rifle...
It would be better if one of you was a local cop....the other a nerdy Marine biologist, and MrKook, you can be the crusty old fisherman....
Let us know when we are all safe boys...

Most people don't listen with the intent to understand
They listen with the intent to reply.

harrycoopr's picture
harrycoopr's picture
harrycoopr commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 8:23am

Gold!

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 8:38am

If very lucky, you will find a shark that can sing. And all your monetary concerns will be taken care of.

Fatso's picture
Fatso's picture
Fatso commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 10:34am

I was trying to think of a way to lambast this "cull" bullshit...right up until I read yours Megzee!!! Brilliant. When do we get to a point where we realise we have to live with nature, not keep fucking it over to suit us???

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 6:01am

"I heard a little splash behind me, looked back and there was nothing there".

I've had that experience (or sometimes just a weird feeling) dozens of times in the past, if not hundreds over my surfing lifetime.

Hearing Wilko's account and seeing the footage is a little unnerving.. shows that there might have been a basis to some of my gut instincts.

savanova's picture
savanova's picture
savanova commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 9:21am

Yea same here, random bump under my board or pull of the leggy with no-one in arms reach.
The gut has as many if not more nerve endings as the brain and has recently been shown to have the same amount of control over the body . Hence the feelings of butterflys or sphincter tightening when shits about to get real and the FFF kicks in.

kaiser's picture
kaiser's picture
kaiser commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 11:09am

What about the unexplained boil of water that hits your feet every now and then? Where you re-trace your leg movement and convince yourself it was only a miss-timed wag of the foot as a wave went under.

R00ney's picture
R00ney's picture
R00ney commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 10:17pm

Had the same happen up the road at a point, by myself.
Splash, rough bump on the leg, turned around, nothing there.
Back pedal up the rocks in double time.
Standing in dry dock surveying the scene, nothing to be seen.
Could've been anything i guess, but when the gut says no, you go.

Mr Underhill's picture
Mr Underhill's picture
Mr Underhill commented Friday, 9 Oct 2020 at 10:16am

‘A’ point or ‘the’ point? If you had ‘the’ point to yourself it must have been a very, very long time ago.
Otherwise it was complete dog shit.

R00ney's picture
R00ney's picture
R00ney commented Friday, 9 Oct 2020 at 12:17pm

One man's dog shit...
Ya can still jag it.
May be rock runners or a little cross shore, could be 1ft and peeling.
Might only be for 30 minutes or so but hey, if there's none or 1 or 2 out, I'll take it any day over one that the buoy reads over 3ft with an S in it's direction (still get those, pretty rare though)

hamishbro's picture
hamishbro's picture
hamishbro commented Saturday, 10 Oct 2020 at 6:27am

One spoilt hotshot’s dog shit is an appreciative man’s smorgasbord.

R00ney's picture
R00ney's picture
R00ney commented Monday, 12 Oct 2020 at 12:28pm

Yep

Manuel Marti's picture
Manuel Marti's picture
Manuel Marti commented Monday, 12 Oct 2020 at 9:13pm

Yeah trusting your gut is always worth it.
A couple days I was going in from a surf and I had a twisted feeling in my gut , quickly paddling in through the bay to my mate who was in then I heard and felt the ripples of a big splash I was straight on the rocks hahaha. luckily it was just a dolphin. My friend said the dolphin had gone down about 1 minute earlier and followed me before splashing its tail about a 1 metre next to me. I got the weird feeling about 20 seconds before the splash so no doubt some part of me knew i was being followed.

groovie's picture
groovie's picture
groovie commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 6:32am

Very lucky boy is Wilko! Had a similar scenario recently when a mate & I experienced a drive by & then attempted strike on my mate by a 3m+ GWS, Shark got his leggie instead of him(similar to M.F.) We had the Smart Drum lines trial here 2yrs ago & the data collected on tagged GWS showed that 90% that are tagged & released leave the area, Seems to me this is the sensible option to pursue in the current circumstances we are experiencing, What do you think peeps???

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 6:55am

They may leave the area and then, obviously, go somewhere else shifting the problem, unless they avoid the coast in general which is doubtful.

In India, relocating problem tigers created a spate of attacks in the new territory as the newcomer had no territory or local knowledge and struggled to find its place and food. There can be unintended consequences of simply moving the problem.

Frogg

kaiser's picture
kaiser's picture
kaiser commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 11:10am

If the tagged ones leave the area, then which ones are constantly pinging on the bouys?

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 11:17am

The bigger ones that ate the tagged ones?

Dan K's picture
Dan K's picture
Dan K commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 1:14pm

Yep exactly. I don't buy it that they're leaving the area. Those shark buoys pick up the signal if a shark is within 500m apparently. Our Forster one goes off every day, as do many others. I highly doubt it's a brand new tagged shark from another location every day. When the drum line trial was in town they were placed just off the Bar (300-400m offshore) and when the contractor would go out he'd be lucky if he towed it off more than 300m from the drum line.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 1:24pm

Go to the Dorsalwatch facey page and look at the amount of fresh Taggings
Catch Tag Release
EG: Put Ballina or Evans in the Search Function

Dan K's picture
Dan K's picture
Dan K commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 2:24pm

I'm not disputing the high number of taggings Udo, I'm with you on that one. Over our 3 month trial from memory I think we got above 50 sharks tagged from our contractor alone. I more mean the suggestion that once tagged they bugger off. To my knowledge that claim came from the CSIRO gurus however that info has never really been shared openly with the public to see ourselves. They did release a map at one stage that showed "Shark 59" and a coloured track of its movements whilst at liberty, but the suggestion that they leave town after capture has only been verbally communicated to my knowledge, which I find difficult to believe.

Groper's picture
Groper's picture
Groper commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 2:57pm

A Bouy is a FAD, boaties stop to collect bait off the one at Yamba.

Dan K's picture
Dan K's picture
Dan K commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 3:25pm

Technically a buoy is a flotation device that serves as a navigation mark. Yes fish aggregate off them and the one in my town is also used to catch slimes and yakka, however the primary purpose of ours is as the data collection point for tagged whites in the area.

Groper's picture
Groper's picture
Groper commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 4:05pm

So technically yours is not a buoy??? My point is that the buoys would act to attract sharks.

Dan K's picture
Dan K's picture
Dan K commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 7:50pm

hahaha!
I'm not getting all keyboard warrior here mate. I suppose the single yellow buoy definitely provides structure for bait fish, and bigger fish and so forth, but so does the football sized field of reef 100m away from it which is aptly called "the bait grounds" which also acts as a Grey Nurse Shark Dive site for local operators. I'm sure the single yellow floating structure adds a fishy element also :-)

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 3:43pm

I remember surfing at Evans a couple of years ago a small pointer was caught off the line directly across from the point a few of us were surfing. They came and unhooked it, hauled it on the boat, drove barely 200m out to sea, then dumped it back in the drink. That's their removal program as far as i have seen. We all watched it in disbelief from the lineup. Went in after that.

Agitator's picture
Agitator's picture
Agitator commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 8:14am

Time to remove these fish off the protected species list for a while.

haggis's picture
haggis's picture
haggis commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 8:12am

It is not going to happen for GWS. They are a protected species. Give up on the idea of culling.

amb's picture
amb's picture
amb commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 12:44pm

Who makes this call?, is it a federal or state decision ?

haggis's picture
haggis's picture
haggis commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 8:11am

Just out of interest. Has anyone embraced the shark shield technology up there? If not , why not? Is it a macho thing or do people think it doesn’t work? Tom Carroll was spruiking the decals on the bottom of his board a few years ago?

Surfalot67's picture
Surfalot67's picture
Surfalot67 commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 8:38am

I don't think there's been any conclusive proof that they work. I've seen footage of sharks darting away from the shield, but it looks exactly the same behavior as this, so can't really say it was as a result of the shield...happy to be proved wrong but IMO a 4m GWS in attack mode ain't stopping for anything...

haggis's picture
haggis's picture
haggis commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 1:35pm

Yes that is a really good observation, one imo has never been really answered by some of the companies selling these shark repellant gizmos. From my limited understanding a few of these recent attacks have been inquisitory in nature?

barclay's picture
barclay's picture
barclay commented Tuesday, 13 Oct 2020 at 7:32am
haggis's picture
haggis's picture
haggis commented Tuesday, 13 Oct 2020 at 7:18pm
Shaun Hanson's picture
Shaun Hanson's picture
Shaun Hanson commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 8:43am

Good Question Haggis fuks me why more poeple dont have em .....chk out RPELA website ...reunion islands has made it illigel to surf with out a RPELA or SHARKSHEILD . .i beleive there are reliability issues with the shark sheild....RPELLA is australin made and idiot proof which works for me ...great back up and the bloke who owns the company is on mobile the number is on the website ring him and have a chat ...

Pastmypeak

haggis's picture
haggis's picture
haggis commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 1:32pm

Had a look at their website. Only 495 bucks as well. Seems very reasonable.

the_b's picture
the_b's picture
the_b commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 9:34am

Looks like a nurse shark? Longish tail

regydogy's picture
regydogy's picture
regydogy commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 9:52am

fucking clubbies just film a allmost attack not sending any alarm at all . sick fucks

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 10:49am

3mt GWS seen by surfers at Lennox Head 9.am

blitz's picture
blitz's picture
blitz commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 11:29am

Fuck Wilko.... get a lotto ticket son!
Luck is loaned - Not owned....

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 3:23pm

What was the I.D. on this Shark Juvenile White or Bull ?
From the change of mind flick of the tail...hows the distance shark travelled away until the Boil behind Wilko shows .

Robo's picture
Robo's picture
Robo commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 3:28pm

Been seen a few guys wear sharkbanz, do they work at all?

garyg1412's picture
garyg1412's picture
garyg1412 commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 3:37pm

Not against White Pointers apparently Robo.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 4:29pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uY6U9j3ZVes
Wouldnt scare a leatherjacket

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 3:45pm

If I were religious, I'd say there but for the grace of God go I...........how many times could that have happened to any one of us with no idea how close we came? Lucky man, Wilko.

That SLSC footage doesn't seem to let you pause it properly - this footage on the ABC lets you slow it right down:
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-07/surfer-matt-wilkinson-in-shark-ne...

When you slow it down, it seems that:
- it's probably a white by the size of the pectoral fins and the sharp-ish snout. The caudal fin on top of the tail seems elongated but I think that's the angle of view.
- it's definitely bigger than 1.5m, more like a 6- and possibly 8-footer.
- it came up for a squiz and didn't come full speed at all
- it sits off to his right side rather than directly behind his feet before bolting away. When you slow it down, it looks like there's a depressed patch of water catching the sun near Wilko's right thigh, and the moment it approaches the shark it looks like it gets spooked. It really takes off as though it's feeling threatened.
- it's cruising behind the whitewater/sand line and pretty much seems to resume that line when it settles back down.

I really feel for you lot up north with this happening. I lived and surfed a lot up at Ballina/Lennox from '88-90 and only saw one bronzie the whole time. Must be pretty hard relaxing in the water now. Mind you, I only paddled over to South Ballina once, that was enough. Never felt more exposed and sharky.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 3:46pm

probably would help in this situation if a shark is only sniffing but other wise not....

simba

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 6:22pm

Can go slow mo here Tango

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XqVYQUa6Yo&feature=emb_logo
Wilco had the sixth sense feeling minutes earlier that he had Company...

nasigoreng's picture
nasigoreng's picture
nasigoreng commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 9:26pm

A close family member of mine has an arsenal of registered guns and a boat. Consequences aside, my mind is heading that way for the grey man if the authorities are unwilling to do something effective. I'm sure if a politicians son is eaten we will finally see some real action.

mrkook's picture
mrkook's picture
mrkook commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 9:53pm

Get stuck in, there has already been great success on the wooden boat.

MK

megzee's picture
megzee's picture
megzee commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 10:06pm

Geez Nasi G.....you should hook up with the cull team from yesterdays comments....
RogerSam, mrkook and Remigogo.....they have a cull gig planned.......endorsed by the local Major.... who's son rides a lid mind you.......and they need a "boat"......the arsenal of weapons will certainly come in handy.......
Could you enlighten us on the "consequences aside" bit young fella?

Most people don't listen with the intent to understand
They listen with the intent to reply.

PCS PeterPan's picture
PCS PeterPan's picture
PCS PeterPan commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 10:36pm

My cousin was camping with the family on the long weekend and videoed "hundreds" of southbound Humpbacks on NSW south coast. He showed me footage and wherever you looked on the screen, Humpbacks were leaping , tail slapping or just active .His wife reckoned you could hear them "all day long" , to the point they became oblivious to the sound . Fishoes in their boats returned to shore because it was too dangerous .
Im interested to know if anyone else down south coast saw this ?
I on the other hand took my kids for a walk up Tomaree Lookout above Zenith beach. With my daughter by my side , I pointed to a big rock submerged just beyond the sets ,"look at that shark" i said to her . . ."is that really a shark?" she asks me , "nah . . probably just a rock !'' . About 20 seconds later a GWS about 3 meters long cruises along the inside of the headland and rolls onto its side, almost going over the falls on a little set wave , turns south ,heading straight towards some young uns , swimming in the flags . By this stage everyone at the lookout is gawking at whats unfolding . Luckily it turned left and headed out to sea .
IMO , too many whales , too many sharks . When I started surfing (1985) , there were far fewer humpbacks , Japanese harpoons still in the mix , maniac shark fishoes and far fewer GWS .I respect all creatures , but the situation of humans brushing up along side apex predators regularly is getting almost untenable.

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 10:41pm

You get the blue ribbon comment from me last night there megzee. Sensational stuff.

As for consequences, if no body saw it, it didn't happen. Just saying.

Cull is a huge word for a huge ocean.. so just a down grading in protection status would do me fine so every now and then crew and I can go a little .."old school"...

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 10:50pm

the first rule of fight club

megzee's picture
megzee's picture
megzee commented Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 11:26pm

All good mate....I know the old school "turn a blind eye " approach......I was part of the commercial/charter fishing rape and pillage game for a few years,, both west and east, and there was nothing more exhilarating, awe inspiring and humbling than seeing a huge killing machine slink alongside the boat to suss us out....The last thing on my mind was to try and take him out...........on the other hand, I have witnessed red- neck" professional" fishermen taking great pride of putting a large caliber bullet in the head of majestic Tiger sharks.....all for the pub story glory........many years ago the Kalbarri pub (as did many) even had a gantry set up out the front for that pathetic show of .....fishermanheromanship wank...
Leave them alone and they will..........leave us alone?????.......or will they....

Most people don't listen with the intent to understand
They listen with the intent to reply.

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo commented Friday, 9 Oct 2020 at 12:14am

Yes, most definitely differing mind sets.

The observer, the hunted or the Hunter.

The fishermanheromanship wank you speak of with the gantry.. yeah that is something I could never understand. Wow kids look at that blood covered gw. Isn't it beautiful. Such a powerful animal in the wild...

Ah the good old days..

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Friday, 9 Oct 2020 at 11:11am

Grommets will be endangered soon on the north coast. After a few more attacks and close calls they will start getting mountain bikes and soccer balls for Xmas instead of surfboards after some tense and sad family discussions.

Save those grommets.

Imagine the media and community outcry if the local playground had large tigers hanging in the bushes watching and routinely stalking up behind kids and mums and dads. That is where we are now.

Frogg

megzee's picture
megzee's picture
megzee commented Friday, 9 Oct 2020 at 12:13am

Nah.....you guys are like mosquitoes..........endangerment is not going to happen for you pesty little critters.......unfortunately......
Frog....what is a soocer ball?????

Most people don't listen with the intent to understand
They listen with the intent to reply.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Friday, 9 Oct 2020 at 12:28am

Turning Point in Sharky Business...

June 2019
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-11/surfers-under-fire-for-ignoring-w...
SLSNSW+Mayor+Council+DPI+Choppers+Police+Jet Boats+Rescue Boats+Sirens
60 Sharks + 60 Surfers refuse to surrender their Wall lineup...Ignore Evacuation.
https://www.northernstar.com.au/news/60-bull-sharks-force-evacuation-of-...

Covid 2020
Little Ripper is grounded due to big surf... sharksmart Big Wave Pro Pilot steps up.
SLSNSW/DPI (Threat is over 2m within 200m) NSW Clubbies say Shark was '1.5m'
In an Oz 1st...the sighting of a '1.5m' Shark has closed a Tourist Town for 24 hrs.
https://www.surflifesaving.com.au/news/pro-surfer-warned-shark-drone-bal...

Against all procedure Shark was considered a threat but not worth sounding a siren.
Just as well coz Sharksmart Drones don't have a siren
(SLSNSW Siren is #1 Rated Shark Patrol Action )
Just as well coz Sharksmart Pilots aren't Clubbies, so they cross each other out!

All sorted then...A Holiday pocket money vid... locksdown a Surf Break for 24 hrs.
Little Ripper would drop slippery sam on matt's head, run a quick sweep & reopen.

Sharksmart lockdowns aint gonna be beach bullied by Covid lockdowns.
Sand modelling Comps have been stomped out by Beach Lock Down Comps.

tbb wishes Matt well & along with the crew notes the danger....

Just saying ...wot a difference a Sharkdemic makes
2019 Dutto's World Police couldn't shift 1 of 60 surfers from a 60 pack shark frenzy.
A year on & a baby shark swabs WSL Surfers for the next plane out.

PS: NSW has different Drone Shark Emergency Responses & Procedure each day.
DPI (vs) SLSNSW - Drones (vs) Patrols (vs) sharksmart (vs) Little Ripper etc etc etc.
Recordings / Siren or No Siren / Multi Lingual or Shark Whisperer.
Shark Size 2m x Type vs 100m roaming or 200m approaching but not circling.

(eg: Clubby Bunker slips from #1 > #9 on the hit parade) + sharksmart Siren is silent.
Patrols now have no idea on which club toots which whistle or Gazoo or when.
Yes! Tech is now confusing & delaying age old speedy Air Raid beach evacuation.

The above part censored vid ticks all the boxes for a mixed up wake up call.
Absolutely no beachgoer has a fucking clue! But the Drones will save us!

tbb is not having a crack just wants the same as the crew...for all to come back alive.
On the flip this mental message is to buy humans an extra second or 5mins more.

One Emergency sequence that crosses all mixed tech, be it Paid or Volunteer.
All beachgoers should be aware of vaguely similar Alert procedure...before Summer?
No! Not pushing for Oz wide Shark Alert...each state must sing their own tune! durr!

Robo's picture
Robo's picture
Robo commented Friday, 9 Oct 2020 at 9:23am

NRL no's are way down in kids sport, Mothers who have the last say want their kids to play soccer, way less serious injuries.
Surfing could go the same way (hopefully) :)

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Friday, 9 Oct 2020 at 12:33pm

Wilko's encounter shaved another few % more off the Wozzle's covid ravaged future goals for "growing the sport". They can't win a trick at the moment.

Meanwhile, empty north coast barrels beckon us all for relaxing fun in the sun.

Frogg

bluediamond's picture
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bluediamond commented Friday, 9 Oct 2020 at 2:57pm

Possible attack at Esperance. Anyone in the area let crew know.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-09/shark-attack-in-esperance-wa-repo...

calk's picture
calk's picture
calk commented Friday, 9 Oct 2020 at 5:29pm

"A witness reported a potential shark attack just before 11:00am.

It followed a shark sighting about 9:20am, but the report did not specify which species of shark was spotted...

Speaking at a press conference on Friday afternoon, WA Premier Mark McGowan said the missing man was in the water with other surfers.

He said one of the surfers tried to rescue him from the water but was unable to do so."

Pretty damning. Fingers crossed and thoughts are with those affected.

burzum's picture
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burzum commented Friday, 9 Oct 2020 at 6:29pm

Horrible. Just awful. I am a greenie at heart, but this is too much. We need to put human life in front of a mindless predator, whose stocks are more than sufficient.
I live on the Goldie and was rocked by the Greenmount attack. I feel nothing but sympathy and empathy for the surf community at Espereance right now.
I hope the guy didn't have kids...

bluediamond's picture
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bluediamond commented Saturday, 10 Oct 2020 at 3:07pm

Yeah the initial report didn't have that extra info. I think they kept updating it, but yeah. Sounds pretty horrific calk. :(

Timmy5656's picture
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Timmy5656 commented Friday, 9 Oct 2020 at 5:48pm

Looks like someone was taken by great white at kelp beds today near Esperance, I guess there will be more to come . As per above posts didn’t see.

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theblacksheep commented Friday, 9 Oct 2020 at 6:18pm

Looking at comments on public newspaper feeds...if I see one more "You are in their territory so you deserve to die" comments I'm going to shoot myself...

theblacksheep's picture
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theblacksheep commented Friday, 9 Oct 2020 at 6:26pm

Remdinds of once when I was paddling out to a semi-offshore bombie in Sydney (on a sup so I probably deserved it) and something pulled my leggy so hard I fell on my face on the board and lucky held on then got spun 180 and dragged backwards for a bit.
Couldn't see a thing but I was in the middle of the ocean and just shat myself for a minute waiting for a second hit and then decided the bombie was closer than the land and whitewater would be my friend for a while.
Maybe if I was leashless I would never have noticed a thing....

pjbyron's picture
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pjbyron commented Friday, 9 Oct 2020 at 6:27pm

And it continues...reported fatal attack in WA
https://twitter.com/i/status/1314450521273569280

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher commented Friday, 9 Oct 2020 at 11:07pm

Frightful it is! Sending hope for a miracle?
The World is spinning too fast...most sad it is!
Everyone & everything is playing catch up to keep pace...
Laws are changing so fast & all will need to adapt to restrictions.

The following continues the NSW change of affairs.
Sharksmart (trainees) can now Lockdown NSW Coastline.

2017 Westpac Choppers + 2018 Little Ripperz deploy Clubbies Shark Alarm..
2020 DPI Sharksmart (Holiday [457] Employees) ORDER a beach lockdown
SLSNSW : "UAV programs are 'separate' Partnerships." (see WSL partners)
https://www.sharksmart.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/1237011/sm...
Note: Sharksmart DPI "Direct Drone Policing orders" bypass of SLSNSW authority.

2020 Chain of Command hired Copz > Surfcom HQ > (Clubbies are relegated)

2020 NSW Police are expensive & want less frontline Beach Covid 19 contact
Mayor's push Councils for resident volunteer or [457] Covid 19 Beach Marshals
Councils then deploy [457] Rangers or (PIN Cops) to order & fine beachgoers.

Here's how to beef up a [457] Volunteer to Covid Bully Cop for next to no bucks.
eg: Drone (5 days) + Sharksmart (2 days) + Marshal (30mins) > Enforceable Warning
Sharksmart Squadron redirect Drones onto crowds & report breaches. (Actual Plan.)
Beach Ranger is trained on the job, but has power to deliver a fine for a beach breach!
They will use Surfcom Video Bunker to get their man.

Trainees Volunteers [457's] can legally close down 80% NSW beaches for free.
https://www.swellnet.com/news/swellnet-dispatch/2020/09/30/watch-the-sur...

This feature Vid was sent worldwide as with former Govt/NSWSLS (Fake promos)
tbb is not calling it fake but it's only fair to point out perfect timing + WSL promotion.

Holidays + Big Surf > NSW SLS Little Ripper tags in w/e Sharksmart Pilot.
WSL Pro paddles into Govt Sharksmart Arena at exact same time for Summer Promo.
tbb assumes WSL Pro knew nothing of WSL / NSW DPI (UAV Drone connection)
It certainly fits the script for NSW Govt fake drone rescue mini series.(Let's say not!)

17 Sept 2019 Home Drone {Shark Warning Message} FF > re: Land recording!
[ Shark! Shark! Shark! Evacuate the water immediately!]
[ There is a Shark in the Water -Please Evacuate Immediately! ]

This is what DPI need to precedent authority to bypass Patrols & Boss beaches!
Here's the Headline DPI / SLSNSW needs to sell to win back control.

{ Pro Surfer Warned of Shark by Drone at Ballina } Sounds like a WSL cross Promo?
https://www.surflifesaving.com.au/news/pro-surfer-warned-shark-drone-bal...

Now Read the DPI Ad...brought to you by partners UAV WSL Service. WTF.
There can be no doubt that in text & Credits this presents as joint Ad.
That's a pretty tasteless ad, even for NSW Govt...in fact they should retract it!
Govt / WSL sponsor Sharky Pro Surfer AD for Sharky Hot Spot...No! No! No!
NSW Govt keep fucking with our heads...enough of the fake Top Gun Drone Ads!

Oh! I see, so it's one of those...tell'ya, it wouldn't wanna be, as the shit will hit the fan!
tbb had to wade thru some serious shit to buy this Ad...still not quite there yet.

WSL Pro's confirmation of DPI evacuation precedents a power swing back to Govt.
Beach Emergency is directed by Govt HQ...local Patrols get kicked around as luggage.
Sharksmart can now Marshal beachgoers for Rangers to start bar coding quotas.
Govt decides which mall gets a [Beach Closed SALE]

If this shift in Century old Power is accidental, then simply blame it on the Shark!
Nothing about this is accidental as it keeps lining up perfectly to slot next stage & on.

tbb mentioned that SLSA patron Scomo will soon boss all Oz Coastline.
https://sls.com.au/prime-minister-accepts-position-of-vice-patron-of-sur...
Whoa! Steady champ...that's a thick wad...just how many OAM's are ya after?

PS: Consider [457] Drones are expected to spot a 2m shark each outing as minimum!
aka Covid Testing = More Cases...(No need to spell that out!)
Given that Sharks are signalled on the app every day then...Wot?
Then beach will be closed 365 days a year...what need for Surfers or Surfboards.
With growing Army of Drone Volunteers, you can bin all yer boards by Xmas.
East Coast gated Beach Real Estate Boom...(Get off! Kelly's Beach Volleyball Court!)

Reread the Top link again...
https://www.sharksmart.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/1237011/sm...
DPI : "Partnerships between Surfing Groups could reduce the costs"
Only tbb thinks Surfers will pay Drone operators to take Friday's off.
In a desperate bid for Surfers to sure up a weekend session or comp.
No it doesn't make a lick of sense...but that's where we're headed.

Bonus : { Old School Version }

What if tbb said similar Shark Fear mayhem played out in the same town a long time a go!
How is that even possible tbb & surely you just make all of this stuff up!
Well partly correct as tbb was equally thrown by a 2 part event of such broad scope!

1937 Ballina
Aerial Spotter provokes Shark Fear on Friday to hurriedly close the beach on Weekend!

New Years Day 1937 Mr Don Mc Master of Sydney flies his De Soutter over Ballina.
He spots a "Large Shark" a few hundred yards beyond crowded Bathers.
Then he repeatedly sweeps Shark's path to draw attention.
Upon returning to Aerodrome he notifies the Ballina SLSC Patrol.
Members were advised to keep a close watch during the rest of the arvo.
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/94614249?searchTerm=Plane%20b...

The next day, Saturday being the first weekend of the year.
Mid afternoon an object was spotted out from the breakers.
The Spooked Patrol thought only of previous arvo & Pilot's Shark Sighting.
The patrol crew immediately rang the Alarm Bell and hurriedly evacuated the Surf.
.....................................................................................................................
Upon nervous inspection it was merely a harmless Sea Bird.
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/94614440?searchTerm=ballina%2...

Double Bonus
1937 Xmas School Holidays of the same year.
Chamber of Commerce proposed Council to subsidise Aerial Shark Patrols
Sounds all eerily familiar...just don't it now!
You're darn right, that request comes with a back up Shark Proof Net!
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/94705257?searchTerm=Plane%20b...

Fabe's picture
Fabe's picture
Fabe commented Friday, 9 Oct 2020 at 11:29pm

Guys ,,,,That thing is tiny,,,,Ha , classic,, ,, we would just splash at it to go away here in west oz,,,,, Harden up

jason387's picture
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jason387 commented Saturday, 10 Oct 2020 at 10:32am

This story was a beat up by the ABC and it continues here. Yes, a bit of a fright but the shark is curious and then bails immediately when it realises this is not prey. It's sad to see the education campaigns around the crucial role sharks play in healthy oceans are falling short, and people still espouse killing them.

Given almost every shark species on the planet is listed as Threatened, Vulnerable, Endangered, or Critically Endangered surely it's time we stopped encouraging the media to create five minutes of ratings out of these encounters. Obviously I'm happy the fellow human is safe but let's keep the hysteria at manageable levels.

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fishnsurf commented Monday, 12 Oct 2020 at 6:20pm

Its time to start culling them. The juvenile sharks are obviously looking for their prey along the coast . Just cull them . The ocean is 2 thirds the earth. They will survive .

Surf ingredients

donweather's picture
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donweather commented Tuesday, 13 Oct 2020 at 12:51pm

Rumours floating around another dead whale washed up onshore north of Cabba. Anyone confirm or deny?

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Tuesday, 13 Oct 2020 at 7:31pm
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donweather commented Tuesday, 13 Oct 2020 at 11:52pm

Thanks.