Sharks have been sighted feeding off a whale carcass in waters near Broulee on the state’s South Coast. The carcass of a whale was founding floating in the water approximately 300 metres east of Broulee Island around 6:30 pm on Saturday 19 December. Beaches have been closed following a warning by NSW Police to stay out of the water.
Police were notified by the crew of the Westpac Surf Life Saving Helicopter that they saw a large number of sharks feeding on the carcass of the whale.
Concerns were raised regarding the safety of beachgoers at nearby North Broulee Beach, which is popular with holidaymakers at this time of year, given the close proximity of the carcass to the beach.
At 7:00 pm on Saturday evening, two civilian vessels under the supervision of Surf Lifesaving attached a tow line to the whale and towed the carcass approximately two kilometres out to sea.
Police are advising swimmers and recreational boat users to be aware of the heightened presence of sharks in these waters. As a result Broulee Surfers Surf Life Saving Club, in consultation with Eurobodalla Shire Council, have closed both North and South Broulee beaches.
The Westpac Helicopter conducted further patrols this morning to assess the possible increased presence of sharks in relation to the nearby beaches. The carcass has now drifted further north with the last sighting off Barlings Beach, near Burri Road.
Broulee Surfers Surf Life Saving Club will be conducting drone and jet ski patrols of the area throughout the day to ensure safety of the area. Far South Coast Surf Lifesaving Duty Officer Andrew Mizzi said there are still a few sharks off the Broulee beaches. “We have a full patrol on the beach at present but the beach is obviously closed for swimming. We will wait for clearance from the NSW police before reopening,” Mizzi said.
Water Police from Eden will attend the area today to make a further assessment of the carcass.
South Coast Police District Duty Officer, Chief Inspector Peter Volf said those planning on fishing were advised to show extra caution.
“People should be aware that sharks are attracted to whale carcasses and to avoid the area to prevent any unnecessary distraction to the sharks while feeding, Chief Inspector Volf said.