Gracetown beaches have been closed from 10am this morning (Tuesday 24 April 2018) until at least 6pm Thursday 26 April 2018 in response to a surfer being knocked from his board while surfing South Point yesterday afternoon.
The closure encompasses beaches from Ellensbrook in the south to North Point in the north, and extends from the shoreline to 2km out to sea.
Shire of Augusta Margaret River Rangers and Parks and Wildlife Service Rangers implemented the closure after initial reports of a sighting were clarified this morning to advise that an interaction had taken place.
“Sharks are always going to be in oceans posing an unmitigated risk to swimmers and surfers, but there seems to be some increased shark activity on that particular section of coastline at present,” Shire of Augusta Margaret River Ranger Coordinator Mick ORegan said.
“Given that we know the surf is looking good for tomorrow and we know theres a lot of visitors in our region at present we feel another temporary closure is warranted.
“We will work with other key response agencies to reconsider the closure on Thursday afternoon and will let the public know accordingly.”
Mr ORegan said beach closure signs have been installed at key locations along the affected coastline to ensure everybody is aware of the current advice.
“We remind people that closures are enforceable and penalties may apply for anyone who enters a closed beach.”
Should members of the public sight a shark they are asked to please report it to Water Police on 9442 8600. This number is staffed 24 hours, seven days a week and will activate any required response.
Anyone wishing to receive alerts about shark sightings in the Margaret River area can follow @SLSWA on Twitter or refer to sharksmart.com.au/news/
General information on sharks is also available online via the Department of Fisheries shark information page at www.fish.wa.gov.au/shark