February 6, 2015
Shark Bites Bodysurfer In Newcastle, Weeks After Massive Great White Closed Beaches

Both a shark sighting and a reported bite have given lifeguards in Newcastle, Australia, cause to be wary, just weeks after a massive great white shark of uncommon size shuttered local beaches for a record amount of time.

Late on Thursday afternoon, a bodysurfer was bitten by a shark on his left ankle while in the waves behind the Ladies Pool at Merewether Beach, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. On Friday, a shark measuring around 1.8 meters was spotted off nearby Bar Beach, as the Daily Mail relates. Though several beaches had already been closed by lifeguards due to rough conditions, signs have since been erected warning of the shark sighting.

"A six-foot [1.8-metre] shark was sighted this morning by a lifeguard on a jet-ski off Bar Beach," the local council said. "It was also reported that someone was bitten by a small shark at Merewether Beach last night, but we do not have any details about that incident."

The bodysurfer posted a picture of his wound online, with a reference to the massive great white shark that closed Newcastle beaches last month. Surf photographer Rod Owen also posted a close-up image of the shark bite, while another bodysurfer responded with a picture of her own injury.

"Now we've both been bitten by sharks @pedroflores #sharkbite #jesush #poopyopants," she asserted.

Authorities in Newcastle had little information on the man's injuries, as they noted that he didn't report the incident.

"We're getting all of this third hand because it was not reported to our lifeguards, they were off duty at the time, but someone was reportedly bitten by a bull shark, or the person thought it was a two foot (61cm) bull shark," a council spokesperson noted. "I have also seen a picture on social media of the person's leg with a few little holes in it. So not to downplay it because any kind of shark bite is serious, but it's very minor."

Last month, beaches in the area were shut amid sightings of several large sharks, including a massive great white of a size not observed in the region prior. As the Inquisitr previously related, Newcastle locals nicknamed the unusually large shark Bruce.

[Image: Instagram via the Sydney Morning Herald]