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Jaws-dropping shark closes beaches

Beaches in Newcastle, Australia, have been closed for an unprecedented sixth day as the hunt for a great white shark lurking in the coastal waters continues.

The huge 16ft shark was first spotted on Saturday off Merewether Beach and was last seen off Nobbys Beach on Wednesday afternoon.

Beaches are typically closed in the surfing city of 315,000 people, 100 miles north of Sydney, four or five times a summer due to shark sightings. Sharks are usually herded away by lifeguards on jet-skis and are never seen again.

Newcastle City Council's aquatic services co-ordinator Peter Withers said he had never encountered such a large shark or one that had lingered in the area in 37 years working for the authority.

The public was generally co-operating with the beach closures, although some surfers were willing to take the risk, he said.

Council spokeswoman Dana Fischetti said long-term council employees could not recall a shark closing city beaches for so long.

Beaches are reopened 24 hours after the last shark sighting. While the council does not keep records of the last longest period of beach closures, they are usually only closed for a day or two.

Patrols have resumed their search for the shark.


From Belfast Telegraph