Shark forces swimmers out of water at Aussie tourist beach

Locals at Noosa on the Sunshine Coast were ordered out of the water, after a member of the public spotted the animal near swimmers.

Swimmers at one of the country's busiest beaches were sent fleeing from the water on the weekend after a shark was spotted by a member of the public.

As temperatures heated up at Noosa on the Sunshine Coast on Saturday, beachgoers flocked to Little Cove to soak up what remained of the summer sun, but just after 10am everyone was ordered out of the water after the sighting, which was later confirmed by the the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter.

It's not known what type of shark was located, but a spokesperson for Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLS QLD) said a drone was deployed to patrol the area along with crews on a rescue water craft and inflatable rescue boat (IRBs).

People quickly flocked to social media to warn others of the sighting, with many taking aim at the shark nets along Noosa Main Beach. Although the SLS QLD spokesperson confirmed to Yahoo News Australia the animal was spotted outside of the netted area.

A view of beachgoers standing along the shore at Noosa Main Beach after a shark was spotted.
A shark sighting at Little Cove on Noosa Main Beach sent swimmers fleeing to the shore over the weekend. Source: Facebook
Surf Life Saving Queensland patrolling the water for the shark.
Surf Life Saving Queensland confirmed the animal was seen outside of the nets, with the beach reopening roughly one hour later. Source: Facebook

Authorities confirm 'no other sightings observed'

Life savers said people were ordered out of the water for a little over an hour until it was deemed safe again.

"Noosa Main beach was closed from 10am AEST. IRBs were deployed to Little Cove to warn swimmers in the water and a drone was used to patrol from the air along with crews on the water on rescue water craft and IRBs," the spokesperson told Yahoo.

"With no further shark sightings observed, the beach was reopened at 11.17am AEST."

'Heaps of sharks' in Noosa area

The Sunshine Coast and Noosa in particular is renowned for its shark activity, with bull sharks in particular known to populate the region's rivers. One woman on Facebook claimed she was just metres from the animal when authorities sounded the alarm.

"I was swimming about 70 metres away from it at Little Cove," she wrote of the dramatic incident.

"I have been fishing Noosa River and the bay for over 25 years ... there are heaps of sharks around 24/7," one local man claimed. "In all this time no one has been killed or bitten in the river, yet people's fear is over the top. It's like they think Jaws is coming for them."

Where am I more likely to be attacked by a shark?

Gavin Naylor who curates the Florida Museum of Natural History’s internationally recognised database on shark bites previously told Yahoo he believes being further out isn’t always the problem because a lot of shark bites happen relatively close to shore.

Instead, being a distance away from other swimmers could increase your chances of being attacked.

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