The Beast just found this little tidbit from The Australian Herald Sun. The illustration below will give you some idea of what a six-meter Great White would look like if you had the misfortune to share the water with her (a shark that size is most likely female).
Shark near popular beach
Mark Buttler and David Hastie
January 20, 2007 12:00am
A GIANT shark has forced the closure of one of the state’s most popular beaches.
Water off Cowes, on Phillip Island, was evacuated after the 6m beast was seen yesterday afternoon. People standing at a boat ramp on Anderson St saw the shark and raised the alarm at 5.15am.
Police and a lifeguard quickly urged swimmers to leave the water.
A Lifesaving Victoria plane arrived five minutes later, but the massive creature had already cruised into deeper water. The shark’s size indicates it is likely to be a white pointer — also known as a great white. Bronze whalers and other species inhabit water around Phillip Island but none could grow to 6m. Great whites are known to frequent water off the western coast of Phillip Island, lurking around Seal Rocks, near the opening of Western Port Bay.
In 1987, shark fisherman Vic Hislop landed a 7m great white in the area.
Lifesaving Victoria spokesman Brett Ellis said he had been told the shark was swimming near a jetty at Anderson St. “It’s a very big shark. It’s probably been hanging around at Seal Rocks. They’re not uncommon there,” he said.
Fisherman Tom Gruschel was another to see the shark while fishing off the coast at Corinella. Mr Gruschel, 46, said the shark came within 3m of his boat before it breached. “It would have been at least 6m-plus,” he said. “It was bigger than our boat, definitely. All we heard was this great splash and then the next thing the whole fish was almost out of the water. My mate and I were just stunned.
“You just think to yourself, ‘Is this real?’ It was something you would only see in a documentary.”
The 6m shark was seen by surfers at Flynns Reef, on the west coast, early this week.
Australian Volunteer Coast Guard search and rescue manager Craig Borchmann said it was not uncommon for sharks to be seen farther up Western Port Bay. “We often get reports of big sharks,” Mr Borchmann said. “Down around Phillip Island, Seal Rocks, that’s a favourite hunting ground there for them because of the seals. It wouldn’t be unusual to see them farther up Western Port.”
“Apparently there are a lot of seals in the area. So it has probably followed the seals into the area for a bit of a meal. That would explain why it would have jumped.”
UPDATE: The Beast Googled some pictures of the area because he thought it might be interesting to see what a beach where Great Whites hang out might look like.
This is the boat ramp on Anderson Street where the shark was first spotted around 5:15 a.m today:
This is the beach itself.
Seal Rocks, where the Whites like to hunt