20 Foot Great White Shark Menaces Aussie Beach

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 whitesharkanddiver.jpg

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



  1. aruna patange
    Posted August 19, 2007 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    its a giant. shark is never seen on Indian shores or beaches. it is astonishing. my heartfelt condolences to the bereved family of the diver swallowed by the shark.

    the beaches in the picture ar beautiful. in India we do have beaches put not so beautiful due to dirt around. most of nice beaches are in Goa attracts the tourist all over world.

  2. Posted August 19, 2007 at 2:04 pm | Permalink


    Indians have to worry about Bull Sharks, which are in many ways more dangerous than whites. They account for the plurality of attacks on humans and also the highest fatality rate. Worse, Bull Sharks are in the habit of swimming up into freshwater rivers and even into lakes. The Ganges is loaded with them, apparently.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted February 22, 2008 at 8:07 pm | Permalink


  4. md
    Posted February 22, 2008 at 8:14 pm | Permalink


    • jimmy
      Posted February 5, 2010 at 3:00 am | Permalink

      I love to kill them….kill them or they’re gonna kill us.anyway kill them while U saw it

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 15, 2011 at 7:35 am | Permalink

        youre a douche!! hopefully one will kill u

      • stevieb
        Posted September 4, 2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        Kill them off and we’re not far from killing ourselves off…think

  5. md
    Posted February 22, 2008 at 8:18 pm | Permalink


  6. Posted March 16, 2008 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    JrytWA Hi from Russia!

  7. klare
    Posted July 10, 2008 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    put a picture on, that was what i was looking for

  8. Posted August 8, 2008 at 2:23 am | Permalink

    can you ever find sharks in a lake? if not are there any other dangerous things i should be worried about when i go swimming in lakes? because i have fears of water and so i need to hear that it’s safe to go in from someone who knows what their talking about! -Sophie

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 8, 2011 at 6:11 am | Permalink

      yes bull sharks swim into fresh water. We have a golf course here in Australia that has a land locked lake it has bull sharks in it. You tube ‘carsbrook golf course sharks’

  9. Posted July 28, 2009 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Kill em all i hate the bloody things!

  10. Bryce
    Posted January 13, 2010 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    My relitives live in Cowes at Phillip Island and they own the biz that ferrys people out to seal rocks and saw a great white take take a BIG 3m bull seal, the shark was at least double its size

    • Bryce Exaggerator
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 4:51 am | Permalink

      That really IS amazing – especially as Australian Fur Seals (the ONLY seals to be found there) grow to a mmaximum size of 2 metres…

  11. Bryce
    Posted January 13, 2010 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    bronze whalers are common around phillip island

  12. Posted September 19, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    Sharks are cool.

  13. John
    Posted July 21, 2012 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I live in Melbourne but spend most of my spare time on the island..
    I was fishing a few weeks back on the pier when a 3 meter bronze whaler cut my line..
    I just feel that since the island has the biggest fur seal colony at the entrance of it there should be signs alerting tourists that there is the potential of a great white crusing through on the pier or along the main strip. As we’ve seen from this article, it is a reality! If something isn’t done we’re looking at a “Jaws Scenario” one day.
    I love the island, I love it soooo much! but there MUST be something done to warn tourists!

  14. Posted June 26, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

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    • JayJay Bryant
      Posted July 23, 2014 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      I grew up on Phillip Island. My family is still there. I now live an hour’s drive away but still get there for a few days every month, moreso over Summer. My auntie worked on Seal Rocks for Nat Geo when I was a kid in the 70’s. My Great Uncle was the guy who helped Vic Hislop get his 7m Great White out of the water in the 80’s (He was also the guy who reported Vic to Fisheries and Wildlife for using a seal as bait).
      Over the years I have seen probably hundreds of sharks, many of them large whites. On my observation, they aren’t really interested in humans as food. Sure, the occasional one gets a bit close for comfort, but I’ve noticed that they’re predominantly stealth predators. Essentially, if you can see them, they aren’t a threat (unless, of course, they’re hurtling towards you at 20 knots and that’s when you see them!).
      Seriously though, considering how many sharks are there and how many people frequent the water on the Island and there’s never been a fatality (only 2 attacks on record from assumed whites and only minor injuries resulted), the chances of being taken and killed by one are less likely than being killed by a kangaroo jumping in front of your car on your way there… Not worth worrying about.

  15. Posted August 2, 2014 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Hi everyone, it’s my first go to see at this site, and paragraph is really fruitful in favor of me, keep
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2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] Great White is a juvenile, still the diver was very lucky to get away. This comes scant days after Cowes Beach on Phillip Island, Victoria was cleared when a 20 footer was sighted off the boat ramp. Fisherman Tom Gruschel was another to see the shark […]

  2. […] say that, because the locals will tell you that one of the world’s largest great white shark’s was sighted there. A mere 20 foot long if the diagram in the pub is anything to go by. The things […]

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