Beaches along the Tweed Coast will remain closed for a further 24 hours after another shark sighting following the fatal attack on a Gold Coast man on Sunday.
60-year-old Rob Pedretti died after being bitten on the leg by a three metre Great White at Salt Beach south of Kingscliff on Sunday morning.
Fellow surfers risked their own lives to get Mr Pedretti to shore as the the shark circled them, however the Tugun man could not be saved.
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Police and surf lifesavers have resumed patrols of the coastline today as they attempt to track down the shark responsible.
A jet ski patrol spotted a shark in the area this morning, prompting officials to keep beaches in the area shut until at least tomorrow.
“There’s a number of factors why we’re keeping the beaches closed that includes a further sighting of a shark near Fingal Head, there are whales that are close by, we’ve got a lot of bait fish in the water and we’ve also got a public holiday today,” Tweed Byron Police District Inspector Matthew Kehoe said.
Authorities say it’s not clear if the shark spotted this morning is the one responsible for the attack on Mr Pedretti, but they were taking no chances.
“There s a lot of bait balls out off the coast the moment, there’s a lot of birds around so it really does give us an indication that potentially there are other sharks in the area, hence our reason to continue the beach closure for 24 hours,” Inspector Kehoe said.
Officials have also confirmed the ‘catch and kill’ order issued yesterday has now expired.
Police are urging surfers and swimmers to stay out of the water, confirming a number of people have ignored the warnings.
“We’re still seeing surfers go into the water and I’d strongly encourage people to stay out of the water and obey those closures for the next 24 hours.
“We’ve spoken to a number of people this morning and we’ll continue our patrols in and around the area.”
Surf Life Saving New South Wales Far North Coast Duty Officer Jimmy Keough says it was not unusual to see more sharks in the area around this time.
“This time of year we do see a lot of large bait balls, also it is the start of the mullet run so we’re seeing mullet exit our estuaries heading out to sea, so there are large bait balls and the mullet up and down the coast,” Mr Keough said.
“Along with that, we also do have the whale migration heading north so its not unusual to see an increase in bird activity and also shark activity along the coastline.”