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Beachgoers warned as great white shark stalks Meelup Beach during school holiday tourist boom

A great white shark is stalking the South West’s most popular beach, according to authorities who have warned the huge crowds of holidaymakers in the area.

Visitors at Meelup Beach, which is swarming with school holiday tourists, have been warned the 3.5 metre tagged shark has spent three days in the region.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development says the shark has been detected several times since Wednesday, with the most recent sighting today at 5.22am.

People in the region have been urged to take additional care in the area, but the beach is understood to remain open.

“It is possible that the frequency of the recent detections and sightings may increase the likelihood of encountering a shark in this area,” the Department said in a warning to visitors.

Meelup Beach, pictured during Leavers Week, is one of the State’s most popular beaches.
Camera IconMeelup Beach, pictured during Leavers Week, is one of the State’s most popular beaches. Credit: Kelsey Reid/The West Australian

The beach was closed twice on Friday, moments after sightings of a two-metre shark 20 metres off shore and a four-metre shark, which was spotted 100 metres from the beach by the Westpac chopper, which was patrolling the area.

At 10.12am today, Surf Lifesaving WA warned a three-metre shark was spotted just 20 metres off shore, south of nearby Yallingup at Injidup Bay.

Fisheries officers, local rangers and SLSWA are monitoring the area but the Department says sightings are “not uncommon” throughout the year.

It comes just two days after swimmer Cameron Wrathall was attacked by a bull shark in the first Swan River shark attack for 50 years.

The 54-year-old needed emergency surgery for a 30cm bite across his upper thigh after he was bitten along Blackwall Reach on Thursday, about 8am.

Yesterday he was due to have a second round of surgery last night to repair fractured bones and severed nerves in his leg.

The beaches between Bicton Baths and Point Walter were closed for two days for patrols but have been reopened this morning.

Anyone who sees a shark is asked to report it to Water Police on 9442 8600.

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