Saturday, January 12, 2008

5m Great White shark spotted off Phillip Island in Australia

A MASSIVE great white shark has sparked an air search off Phillip Island. The creature, believed to be bigger than 5m long, was spotted by surfers about 2.30pm.

The shark was seen off Surf Beach. Surfer Louise Parsons said she dashed from the water after seeing the animal, which is believed to have been seen around the area for the past six months. "I thought, ‘gee I'm drifting towards that rock quickly'.

Then it turned on it's side and I thought, ‘oh my God!," she said. Ms Parsons paddled her board to shore before yelling at the other surfers to clear the water. She said the shark - witnessed by 10 people at the beach - would have been almost twice as long as her three-metre surfboard. "If it wanted any of us, it would have taken us," Ms Parsons said.

"I'd have said the length of it was longer than a station wagon." Ms Parsons said she feared for her surfing friend Janine Pike as the creature turned away from her. "It swung on its side and headed straight for her but she couldn't hear me because there were waves breaking," she said.

Ms Parsons said she had surfed Phillip Island for 20 years but not seen a shark for about five years. Woolamai Beach Surf Lifesaving Club lifeguard Chris Stevens said a plane had been sent up to look for the shark but nothing was seen. "If it was there, we would have closed all the beaches in the area," Mr Stevens said. He said a big, old great white had been seen in the area for the past six months.


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