A dangerous animals warning has been issued for swimmers along Victoria’s coast after sightings of up to five Great White sharks, forcing the closure of Fairhaven beach.
The sharks, which range from about 3 to 3.5 metres long, were spotted at Fairhaven beach between 2pm and 4pm.
An advice message was issued for Aireys Inlet, Big Hill, Eastern View, Fairhaven, Lorne, Memorial Arch and Moggs Creek.
Swimmers were told to leave the water and to stay informed for updates.
“If you see the shark or any immediate danger, report the shark sighting by calling triple zero or notify lifesavers immediately,” emergency services said in a statement.
Download the VicEmergency App for real time updates, and swim at patrolled locations whenever possible. Be aware and prepared. @ Moggs Creek pic.twitter.com/1h83aNtSSC
— Westpac Helicopters (@LSVWestpacHeli) January 6, 2017
There have now been 10 shark sightings along the state’s south-west coast on Friday.
Emergency services said there had been an increase in the number of shark sightings across the state.
‘Eye-opening’ how close in sharks are being spotted
Beach-goer Marcus Emerton-Bain said swimmers were called out of the patrolled Point Lonsdale back-beach on Friday afternoon after a shark sighting.
“We saw the helicopter circling pretty low over the sea and it was pretty close… then the siren sounded,” he said.
“I wasn’t too worried, but having to evacuate out of the sea that was a bit worrying – quite eye-opening as to how close the sharks were coming in.”
He said the warnings would not stop him getting back in the water.
“I don’t think it will stop me but I’ll probably take a bit more care when I go in,” he said.
Swimmers have been urged to swim at patrolled beaches.