Sydney shark attack: Locals claim Little Bay a ‘dangerous’ hotspot


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The brutal shark attack that claimed the life of a swimmer in Little Bay yesterday is known to be “very dangerous”, shaken locals claim.

The ocean surrounding the coastline of Sydney’s Little Bay is a notorious hotspot for sharks, locals have revealed.

A member of The Coast Golf Club, which overlooks the water where a man was killed by a suspected Great White on Wednesday, said it was not uncommon to see sharks swimming just metres from the cliffs.

Tony told on Thursday that it was concerning that long-distance swimmers made regular use of the channel from Little Bay to Malabar beach given its high prevalence of sharks.

The morning after Wednesday afternoon’s freak attack, he said there were three rock fishermen on the cliffs just metres from where the man had been killed hours earlier.

When police arrived at about 8am, they were ordered to leave, however by that time each had collected a healthy stash of fish.

The attack happened so quickly that despite a helicopter being on the scene within five minutes and additional water crews within approximately 10 minutes, first responders saw neither the victim or the shark, Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steven Pearce said.

“The helicopter was in the air, but did not sight the shark that was involved in the attack nor did they sight the victim, but obviously saw what was the result of a very horrific and violent shark attack,” Mr Pearce told

“There was absolutely nothing that could be done.”

Shark drum lines have been set up along the coast, with drones, police boats, jet skis and a helicopter on patrol.

Numerous jet skis and lifesavers are also out on the water searching for the animal and any further remains.

Authorities will assess later this afternoon whether to reopen the beaches dependent on the outcome of their searches.

Hilton Thomas was at Coogee Beach with a lifeguard when the alert came through the radio about the shark attack.

“He got the phone call and ran straight to the office, then bang, the alarm went off,” Mr Thomas said.

“Couple of minutes later he said the guy had lost his life.”

He added the area where the man was attacked was “very dangerous” given it was outside of the protected Little Bay beach.

Mr Thomas said he had struggled to sleep Wednesday night after being sent distressing footage of the attack.

The site of the attack is very popular with long-distance ocean swimmers, snorkellers and spear fisherman.

“At any one time there is a high prevalence of swimmers out in the water,” Mr Pearce said, adding he believed the shark to be more than four metres long.

For swimmers that are keen to get back in the water once beaches reopen, Mr Pearce warned people to not swim alone.

“Swim with a friend or other company and let people know when you are entering the water and when you expect to be back so that if there is a delay someone can raise the alarm,” he said.

“Never swim at dawn or dusk as there’s more frequency of shark activity and never swim after heavy rains as the water run-off can attract predators.

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