Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Life in the shadow of Bruce, a shark that weighs as much as two VW Beetles

There were five sightings of enormous great whites … then dolphin carcasses began washing up. Michael Safi goes to the epicentre of Australia’s summer shark frenzy, only to find some swimmers and surfers defying beach closures

Words and photographs by Michael Safi

Tuesday 20 January 2015 04.56 GMT

Newcastle’s beaches have never been closed for so long. Nine days at the height of summer. And it all started with Bruce.

The five-metre great white shark was spotted on 10 January at Merewether, one of the most popular beaches in the port of Newcastle, 160km north of Sydney. Bruce (actual gender uncertain) is estimated to weigh as much as two Volkswagen Beetles.

“This great white shark is of a size that has not been seen before around Newcastle,” the local council said. “It is not safe for anyone to be in the water.”

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