Hundreds of swimmers at a popular Victorian beach have been forced from the water after a shark was spotted.
People were told to get out of the water at Lorne, south of Melbourne, about midday (AEDT) on Sunday after a shark was sighted by a rescue helicopter.
Lorne Surf Club patrol captain Nick Roffey said lifesavers were able to chase the two-metre shark out of the area using an inflatable rescue boat.
The beach was reopened by 12.40pm.
The sighting came a day after thousands of people around the country protested against the Western Australian government’s shark policies which involve setting baited drum lines off popular swimming beaches.
This policy already has resulted in the capture and killing of several sharks.
The WA government has defended its actions on the basis that it is making beaches safer.
Late last year, a 35-year-old surfer died after being attacked off the WA coast.