A concerned father found a dangerous item on a Sydney beach while visiting with his two young children on the weekend.
Martin was at Brighton-Le-Sands beach on Sunday morning and while performing his regular litter pick-up, he stumbled across a small, yet extremely dangerous item close to the beach volleyball nets.
"I happened upon it and it immediately caught my eye. I had to double take that it wasn't a pen, as it was broken up a bit." he told Yahoo News Australia.
Martin found a damaged syringe, with part of the needle still present. He quickly retrieved it before sealing it in a bottle and binning it.
Martin said there were up to eight children playing nearby at the beach at the time of the discovery.
Sharing a photo of the broken syringe online, he said it was "the worst" beach discovery he had found.
"Super concerning," one person responded.
"Lucky you found it before someone accidentally stepped on it!" another wrote.
Several people expressed their concern over the amount of rubbish left on beaches lining Botany Bay while one person said they had stood on a syringe at Brighton-le-Sands years ago.
Martin said he was concerned by the find as he has "no idea" where it came from, adding he hoped it was a one-off. He has been visiting the beach for five years now and regularly picks up waste due to the plastic "problem" on the shoreline.
Bayside Council detailed to Yahoo News Australia its efforts to reduce such risks posed by discarded syringes or other dangerous finds.
"While findings like this on our beach are rare, Council is nonetheless shocked by this report," a spokesperson for the council said in a statement.
"Members of the public are encouraged to report incidents directly to Council to ensure prompt action can be taken."
The spokesperson said the council uses several resources to maintain beaches, including crews maintaining the beachfront and surrounding parks.
A mechanical rake is also used daily to remove debris.
Within the Bayside local government area there are 16 participating pharmacies where the community can drop off sharps free of charge.
People in NSW can face a fine of $450 if found to have wrongly discarded a syringe in public, the sate's Environment Protection Authority states.
In NSW, the Needle Clean-Up Hotline can be called by any person who discovers dumped needles or syringes.
Warnings to remain vigilant for dangers hidden in the sand spread right across the nation. In October, one beachgoer in Queensland found a syringe disguised in a pile of seaweed.
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