Home / World News / Esperance shark assault: Spearfisherman’s nailbiting encounter with 3m bronze whaler off Lucky Bay Point

Esperance shark assault: Spearfisherman’s nailbiting encounter with 3m bronze whaler off Lucky Bay Point

A spearfisherman had a close call with a three metre shark early Tuesday morning in the State’s south.

The predator, a bronze whaler shark, bit the end of the man’s spear at Lucky Bay Point in the Cape Le Grand National Park just before 9am.

The Department of Primary Industries and Development’s shark response unit, who confirmed the attack, has issued a warning for swimmers in the area.

DPIRD says the shark could be a threat and people should take extra care in the area.

It comes weeks after a pair of Esperance fishermen also endured a nail-biting encounter with a great white shark which hit their boat.

The men, who were not injured in the ordeal, were offshore near Observatory Island when the 4.5m shark hit the side of their 5.7m vessel with its tail about 9.40am on December 2.

The shark was spotted 100m offshore and was the fourth sighting in the area in less than a week.

Esperance shark barrier.
Camera IconEsperance shark barrier. Credit: Facebook

Both incidents come as the anticipated Esperance shark barrier is set to be installed, in response to several fatal shark attacks off the coast in recent years.

The town was left reeling after popular local Gary Johnson, 57, was killed by a great white while diving with his wife, Karen Milligan in January last year.

And local board rider Andrew Sharpe, 40, was killed at Kelp Beds just 10 months later — the same spot where 17-year-old Laeticia Brouwer was killed by a shark in 2017 and Bunbury man Sean Pollard was mauled in 2014.

The net, which is made out of rigid material, is expected to be anchored to the sea floor by the end of the month according to the Shire of Esperance president Ian Mickel.

The barrier is set to extend 300m from the James Street groyne and will run parallel to the shoreline and then back to the beach, forming a safe swimming area on the popular stretch of coastline.

Fisheries officers are monitoring the situation at Lucky Bay. Anyone who sights a shark is asked to call Water Police on 9442 8600.

Swimmers are advised to check the Shark Smart website before entering the water to stay safe and informed.

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