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

A shark, presumed to be a Bronze Whaler, was spotted near the crowded Fish Hoek beach on 13 February 2019.

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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 earlier this week.

A video clip of the shark 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 shark barriers deployed on Friday 13 December

According to Shark Spotters, the Fish Hoek shark and exclusion barried 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 sheeding.

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

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

Shark warnings issued on Thursday 12 December

The shark 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 by Shark Spotters on social media, shark exclusion nets were deployed on Thursday and was retrieved again around 17:00. A red flag is used to indicate an active shark alert.

The flag is hoised during periods of increased shark activity. This could include a shark spotting 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 and 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 with a black shark 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’ warnsings at all and pay attention to shark flags.

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