Watch: Shark alert causes wave of panic at crowded Fish Hoek beach [video]

Swimmers dispersed and ran for the safety of dry land when a shark was spotted near Fishhoek beach on Friday 13 December. This follows after alerts were issued at Fish Hoek beach earlier this week.

A video clip of the sighting was initially posted on Facebook by Aly Ison and later shared by the Fish Hoek Beach community page. Ison captioned her post:

“Friday 13th December [Fishhoek Beach]. When the shark spotters alarm goes off and you actually see the shark.”

No barriers deployed on Friday 13 December

According to Shark Spotters, the Fish Hoek exclusion barries couldn’t be deployed on Friday “due to fishing activity in Fish Hoek corner.” They included the hashtag #BeSharkSmart for good measure

Shark Spotters also confirmed that it was a Bronze Whaler, and one netizen pointed out that there were two separate Bronze Whalers, also known as a copper shark, spotted at Fishhoek on Thursday 12 December 2019.

Watch: Swimmers run for dry land as alarm goes off

Load shedding and shark sirens

Just in case we need even more reminders of the impact – we really don’t – that load shedding has on the country, one netizen wanted to know if the “lack of the shark siren” was due to load shedding.

Ison responded that the siren may have been affected during the morning; adding that “this afternoon it was nice and loud,” at least. What a time to be alive. Thanks, Eskom.

shark fish hoek
Screengrab of shark beneath the surface. / Image via Facebook: Fish Hoek Beach

Fish Hoek: Shark alerts issued on Thursday 12 December

The siren rang out at 11:10 on Thursday and beachgoers were advised to steer clear of the water until it was deemed safe to return.

As reported on social media, the exclusion nets were deployed on Thursday and were retrieved again around 17:00. A red flag is used to indicate an active alert.

The flag is hoised during periods of increased shark activity. This could include a sighting nearby, or when conditions are favourable for the presence of sharks.

When the red flags are replaced with a green flag, it means all systems go; it’s safe to go back in the water. However, one should always proceed with caution.

When a black flag is raised, it means that spotting conditions are poor and extreme caution should applied. A white flag indicates that a shark is in the vicinity.

Siren alarms are usually activated when a white flag goes up. Beachgoers are urged to obey beach officials’ warnings at all and pay attention to warning flags.

Also read – South African shark-attack survivor sails to victory

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Presh JM Reporter

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