SHARK: Third incident this month in notorious spot

BEACH users are being warned to take care after another shark encounter off the Clarence coast.

On Tuesday a group of spear fishermen were approached by a shark at the same location where a teenager was fatally attacked.

Zeb Dougherty, who witnessed the encounter from the shore at Wilson's Headland said the shark appeared to be about 2.5 metres in size and was spotted in water less than two metres deep.

"We were spearfishing and gathering crayfish … the shark then swam aggressively towards my brother-in-law and he shot the shark with his spear gun," Mr Dougherty said in a report made to Dorsal Shark Reports.

It's understood no one was seriously injured in the incident.



This is the third recorded incident to occur along the Wooli-Minnie Water section of the Clarence Valley coastline this month.

On July 11, Minnie Water teenager Mani Hart-Deville was fatally attacked by a white shark at Wilson's Headland while surfing with friends.

Two weeks later, a white shark charged at a surfer at Minnie Water main beach before turning away at the last second.

"There's been people in boats who have had encounters," a Wooli resident told The Daily Examiner days after the fatal attack.

"We had a young fella here with a 3.5-metre great white chewing on his boat just out the front (of Wooli beach)."


SharkSmart advise the following safety measures for:

Swimmers and surfers

  • Tell an on-duty lifesaver or lifeguard if you spot a shark near swimmers or surfers.
  • Don't swim too far from shore.
  • Don't swim with bleeding cuts or wounds.
  • Always swim, dive or surf with other people.
  • Avoid swimming and surfing when it's dark or during twilight hours.
  • Avoid murky water, waters with known effluents or sewage.
  • Avoid areas used by recreational or commercial fishers.
  • Avoid areas with signs of bait fish or fish feeding activity; diving seabirds are a good indicator of fish activity.
  • Do not rely on sightings of dolphins to indicate the absence of sharks; both often feed together on the same food.
  • Be aware that sharks may be present between sandbars or near steep drop offs.
  • Avoid swimming in canals and swimming or surfing in river/harbour mouths.
  • Avoid having pets in the water with you.
  • Do not swim/surf near or interfere with shark nets.
  • Consider using a personal deterrent.

Divers, snorkellers and spearfishers

  • Understand and respect the environment. Find out which species of shark you are most likely to encounter and what behaviour to expect from them.
  • Realise that diver safety becomes increasingly difficult with decreasing visibility, such as at night or in turbid water and with increasing depth and current.
  • Discuss dive logistics and contingency plans such as hand signals, entry and exit considerations and separation procedures with your dive partner before you enter the water.
  • Be aware that using bait to lure fish may attract sharks.
  • Don't chase, grab, corner, spear or touch a shark.
  • Don't use bait or otherwise attempt to feed a shark while underwater. Feeding may radically change the shark's behaviour and may lure other sharks.
  • Observe and respond to a shark's behaviour. If it appears excited or agitated, exhibiting quick, jerky movements or other erratic behaviour, leave the water as quickly and calmly as possible. Try to minimise splashing and noise.
  • Be aware of the behaviour of fish. If they suddenly dive for cover or appear agitated, leave the water as quickly and calmly as possible. A shark may be nearby.
  • Do not attach speared fish to your body or keep them near you; use a float and line to keep your catch well away.