Urgent warning for swimmers as sharks flock toward a rotting whale carcass at a popular holiday beach
- A dangerous animal warning has been issued for Fairhaven Beach in Victoria
- As many as 17 sharks were seen feasting off an 18-metre Sperm whale carcass
- VIC Emergency is warning locals and holidaymakers to stay out of the water
Swimmers are being told to stay out of the water after an increase in shark numbers off Victoria’s Surf Coast.
An 18-metre sperm whale washed ashore at Fairhaven Beach along the Great Ocean road on Tuesday morning.
The decaying animal has been attracting large numbers of sharks to the waters along the stretch of coast between Fairhaven Beach and Moggs Creek.
Life Saving Victoria has closed the beach and a dangerous animal warning was issued by VIC Emergency.
An 18-metre sperm whale washed ashore at Fairhaven Beach on Victoria’s Great Ocean road on Tuesday morning (pictured)
‘Due to a large whale carcass there has been an increase in shark activity reported at Fairhaven today,’ the advice read.
‘A whale carcass can attract sharks to the area and mean they are closer to the shore than normal.
‘While it is not uncommon for sharks to be present off the Victorian coast, you should exercise additional caution in the area.’
Aerial photos show as many as 17 sharks circling the carcass before it washed ashore on Tuesday morning.
Life Saving Victoria has closed the beach and a ‘dangerous animal warning was issued by VIC Emergency
Crews from the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning are working to remove the carcass from the beach.
‘The removal of the 18-metre sperm whale could take a couple of days and beach access will be restricted at times to ensure the task can be completed safely,’ the department said.
‘We ask the community to keep their distance, as heavy machinery will be on the beach while the carcass is removed.’
The warning comes two days after two swimmers had a close encounter with another shark near Lorne Pier on Sunday morning.’
John Mantesso, 66, was swimming with Declan Murphy when a shark came within metres of them, reported the Herald Sun.
Crews from the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning are working to remove the carcass from the beach