Broulee beach shark footage causes controversy

SOURCE: SOUTH COAST REGISTER
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RARE footage captured of a shark feeding off a dead whale, just metres from a popular South Coast holiday beach, has left a bad taste in some people’s mouths.

The shark was sighted in the shallow waters of Broulee Beach where those daring few stood nearby to get a better view.

Michael Jamescaptured footage of one shark tearing into the whale by attaching his waterproof Go-Pro camera to a Go-Pro rod and submerging it next to a bobbing shark tail when it was closer to shore.

However, he has since been reprimanded by many who have watched the video.

His mother, Trina James, said her son was never in any danger and has become disheartened by the negative commentary.

“At first I was a little taken back that he managed to get close enough to get video footage of the shark from the shore,” she said.

“He is a lifeguard, he wouldn’t do anything to put his life or anybody else’s in danger.

“It’s just such a shame to see so much negative feedback.”

Ms James said her son was well respected in the area.

“He slipped when he was kneeling down to get some more footage and that seems to be what has upset so many people,” she said.

“He got the video for his girlfriend who is really good with photography, so she could have some good footage of the shark.”

The drama began on Wednesday, when a distressed juvenile humpback was noticed on rocks on the Broulee headland.

The whale died before a rescue could be mounted, and quickly became a magnet for sharks, closing beaches and making some swimmers nervous.

Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter crew members reported two 3.5 metre sharks in the water nearby, and there were unconfirmed reports of up to four in the area.

A Eurobodalla surfer dived into the sea to rope the dead whale, timing his dive between shark feeding sessions, so it could be towed away from the popular beach.

He and others towed the carcass in a borrowed boat out to sea to reduce the shark risk.

Despite that,South Broulee, Shark Bay, North Broulee and North Head beaches remained closed all day Wednesday,Thursday and Friday, reopening Saturday morning. It closed briefly that afternoon but has since reopened.

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