Shark fears keep Newcastle beaches closed
Shark spotters will scour the Newcastle coastline before a decision is made to reopen closed beaches, while there have been no recent sightings of the two fearsome ocean predators that have lurked offshore over the past nine days.
A five-metre great white, nicknamed Bruce, and a three-and-a-half metre shark that lunched on a dolphin have kept 15km of Newcastle coastline closed this weekend.
A spokesperson for Heliservices Newcastle said there had been no sightings of the sharks on Saturday, and that crews will take to the air on Sunday to try and spot the sharks before a decision is made to reopen the beaches.
"It's a move in the right direction," Nobby's beach inspector Paul Bernard told AAP, referring to the lack of sightings on Saturday.
"We will be closed again tomorrow.
"Council will look to making more decisions if things don't change."
On Friday a 17-year-old boy was bitten on the hand by a 1.5m shark at Mollymook Beach, about three and a half hours south of Sydney.
Sam Smith has been flown to a Sydney hospital with lacerations to his hand sustained after he tried to film the shark while spear-fishing.
In Newcastle, swimmers and surfers have been warned to keep away despite the temptation of cooling off in the summer heat.
Increased marine activity and warm weather are thought to be possible reasons for the sharks' prolonged presence.
CSIRO shark expert Barry Bruce, after whom the great white was nicknamed, said the creatures were common along the NSW coastline but only get noticed when they stop near a heavily populated area.