A huge shark thrashing about in the shorebreak of a popular beach south of Sydney frightened beachgoers before disappearing, and then later returning washed up dead on Wednesday night.
Video captures the shark struggling against the waves while stunned members of the public watch on at McCauley's Beach, north of Wollongong.
“We received reports from the public around 5pm yesterday,” Surf Live Saving Illawarra spokesperson Anthony Turner told 7 News Online.
“Apparently the shark had come in shore, but then it disappeared, but then it came back in again,” he continued.
However when authorities arrived on scene at the beach the shark could not be located.
The shark, believed to be a thresher shark, was estimated to be around 2.5 metres in length.
People on the beach said the shark had been in the water for around 45 minutes, thrashing around.
“Unfortunately it’s washed ashore overnight at around 9pm last night,” Turner continued.
Turner said council had been contacted and the shark will be buried somewhere on the beach later on Thursday.
“The shark has got chunks taken out of it, so the last thing we would want is it to be in the water causing any type of hazards,” Turner told 7 News Online.
“And we also don’t want to scare the public,” he continued.
The beach, next to Thirroul, is popular and a known surfing spot in the area.
“Generally this time of year there aren’t many people swimming in the water,” Turner continued.
“We do advise people that if they do see a shark to leave the water immediately.”
The cause of death for the shark is not known.