A group of young fishermen, hailed as heroes for rescuing a stranded shark, have since been accused of deliberately ‘luring’ the predator onto a popular Perth beach.
In a video taken of the incident on Wednesday night, the struggling shark can be seen on the shore at Quinns Beach, in the city’s northern suburbs, before beachgoers work together to get it back into the water.
As three young men hold onto the shark’s tail, another can be seen lifting up its body, as they pull the animal back into the shallows. With several of them still in the water, they attempt to guide the shark back out into the ocean as waves strike the beach.
With one final shove from the last remaining man in the water, the shark is freed, while those on the beach clap and cheer.
The footage has since gone viral with many people on Facebook congratulating the local “legends” for “helping that shark".
“Bunch of heroes," one person wrote. “Well done everyone!” said another.
Shark deliberately caught
While the story has made headlines across Australia, with many reporting the shark was accidentally caught in the fishing line, it has emerged the fishermen may have been on the hunt for a shark.
A local surfer was at the beach for a swim when one of the fishermen began reeling in his catch which he says took 20 minutes to land.
“I said to one of the young blokes, looks like it might be a stingray because of the way it was being reeled,” he told Yahoo News Australia. “He replied, maybe but on the same day last year we caught a three metre tiger shark, and he scrolled on his phone [and] showed me a photo.”
“They used a paddle board to paddle a bait out a couple of hundred metres, drop it, paddle back and wait.”
Others on Facebook backed up his claims.
“These kids ballooned and lured this shark,” one woman wrote. “It is now exhausted, half drowned. If it survives it will hang around in shallow waters, being opportunistic and a danger to people as it may actually lure another in if it dies. It’s bad practice.”
“Legends??” another questioned. ”They dropped a line... dragged in a tiger shark to a family beach. Idiots actually.”
But the resident surfer says he’s not too worried or bothered by the incident.
“It’s probably not the best place to do it, but it’s not much different to the guys who set up to fish for other species at the same location daily,” he said, adding that the fishermen removed the hook, took some happy snaps and then released it.
“The shark was out of the water no more than two minutes max.”
Wednesday's incident follows a recent spate of shark sightings off Perth beaches with drone footage capturing a tiger shark loitering just a few metres away from a lone swimmer at Hillarys beach last week.
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