Shelly Beach at East Ballina is closed due to a shark sighting.
Shelly Beach at East Ballina is closed due to a shark sighting. Cathy Adams

Shark sightings close beach for second time today

UPDATE 1.50pm: SHELLY Beach at Ballina has closed for the second time today due to shark presence.

Surf Life Saving NSW advised via theSharksmart app an unidentified shark was spotted at Shelly Beach, Ballina by the UAV drone.

The beach was closed.

Surf Lifesaving NSW duty officer Jimmy Keough said there was extensions to life saving services and surveillance on the North Coast in place.

"Our surveillance had been proactive, we have multiple assists up and down the coast performing proactively," he said.

"Between the life guards, life savers and support operations we can cover a fair amount of the coast line… but we are asking for the assistance of beach goers."

UPDATE 12.00 noon: NUMEROUS bull shark sightings on North Coast beaches prompted a warning for bathers and surfers to follow the direction of life guards, life savers and the Department of Primary Industries.

The DPI reported three shark sightings this morning - Shelly Beach at Ballina, The Pass Beach at Byron Bay and Clarkes Beach at Byron Bay - all leading to evacuations and beach closures for up to an hour until they were deemed "clear".

Surf Lifesaving NSW duty officer Jimmy Keough said all three sightings were reported by the DPI aerial helicopter and UAV drone.

"The sighting was first instigated by the DPI aeriel patrol who spotted the shark in the vicinity of Black Head at the northern end of Shelly Beach just after 8am," Mr Keough said.

"The area was evacuated by the DPI alarming their sirens

"There were numerous surfers in the vicinity who evacuated the water when the sirens were activated. They all complied with the direction of Lifeguards on duty and the DPI."

He said the UAV drone at Lighthouse Beach was also activated and kept surveillance but the beach did not close.

In what was confirmed to be a separate shark sighting, "numerous" bathers and surfers were evacuated from The Pass beach just after 10am following a sighting of a 2.3m "dangerous shark," according to the DPI's Shark Smart App, which also alerted another sighting at 10.04am of a 2.3m Bull Shark at Clarkes Byron, leading to another evacuation.

Mr Keough said UAV's would continue to monitor the three beaches for the rest of the day.

A DPI spokeswoman said they could only determine if it was the same shark if they were tagged and they believe they were untagged, but Mr Keough confirmed the sightings were "separate incidences of separate sharks" in Ballina and Byron Bay.

The DPI spokeswoman confirmed the sighting at Shelly Beach had also been a bull shark.

Mr Keough urged swimmers to always follow all directions given by lifeguards and life savers on duty and to Take care and always swim on patrolled locations in between the red and yellow flags.


UPDATE 10.30am: THE Department of Primary Industries is reporting more shark sightings off North Coast beaches, leading to evacuations.

A 2.3m Bull Shark was spotted at Clarkes Beach, Byron Bay at 10:04 am and the beach was evacuated. Authorities Notified.

Surf Life Saving NSW advise of a 2.3m "dangerous shark" was sighted by UAV and DPI Helicopter at The Pass. The Pass is now closed. 


Original story: SHELLY Beach at East Ballina has been closed due to a shark sighting.

Surf Life Saving NSW advised the shark was sighted fifteen minutes ago by a drone at Shelly Beach.

The public are asked to follow direction and stay out of the water until advised otherwise.