BULL SHARK: Popular beach evacuated and closed

A 2.5 metre bull shark was spotted by the DPI at Wategos Beach, Byron Bay.
A 2.5 metre bull shark was spotted by the DPI at Wategos Beach, Byron Bay. Albert Kok

WATEGOS Beach at Byron Bay has been evacuated after a 2.5m long bull shark was spotted cruising off the beach.

The shark was spotted about 150m offshore by the Department of Primary Industries helicopter just before 10am this morning.

Surf Life Saving Far North Coast duty officer Jimmy Keough said local lifeguards were alerted at 10.10am and swimmers and surfers were ordered out of the water.

The helicopter attempted to usher the shark out to sea and was assisted by lifeguards on jetskis from Main Beach.

Wategos has since been closed.

The helicopter has since left the area but Mr Keough said surveillance was continuing with two drones at The Pass and Main Beach.

Swimmers were advised to stay in patrolled areas.

Mr Keough said the "benign" conditions and warmer than usual water could be encouraging marine life to move closer to shore.

There were also reports of two marlin caught by a local fisherman near Julian Rocks yesterday, suggesting unseasonably warm water and higher then usual sea life activity.

It's the second beach evacuation in two days, after a 2m tiger shark was spotted yesterday off Cabarita Beach.

Topics:  editors picks shark alarm shark sighting wategos beach

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