You may recall the article Shark Attacks in Middle Harbour in The Crag #204 which detailed the various attacks over the last 80 odd years. It also referred to more recent sightings. Here’s a new one.
In early April, Castlecrag friends Pip Gill and Millie Austin were walking along the lower bush track on Sugarloaf. They were near the big rock that sits above the water facing the Northern Escarpment of Castlecrag, when they heard some fish jumping out and splashing in the water. Pip recalls “We went over to see what was going on and noticed the shark, which was about 7ft long. I quickly got a video of it. It was only in sight for about a minute or two, but we were amazed about how big and close it was to us.”
Pip posted her clip onto the Willoughby Living Facebook page and it was very popular receiving over 500 comments and nearly 700 likes, loves and wows (emoticon reactions). Quite a few people commented that they have swum there, but were now seriously reconsidering!
Clearly many are not aware of the history of our place and that this was where Bruno Rautenburg was taken by a shark in February 1955, as he swam his daily laps across the bay from the bottom of Stoker Park and back.
Three weeks after Pip and Millie documented their sighting, a tiger shark was spotted down the harbour at Balmoral Beach, inside the square pier that juts out from beside the Boathouse Café. Mosman Council had to physically remove the shark the next day and repair the spot where it had got in. Recent storms also damaged the nets, causing Council to advise swimmers to do so at their own risk.
Maybe these sightings will alert people to the notion that continuing to jump off boats & paddle around the shores where there’s no net to protect one, is indeed risky business.