Esperance shark warning issued for Cape Le Grand National Park’s Thistle Cove beach

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Caitlyn RintoulThe West Australian
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Thistle Cove at Cape Le Grand National Park, Esperance.
Camera IconThistle Cove at Cape Le Grand National Park, Esperance. Credit: Stephen Scourfield/The West Australian

Swimmers in Esperance are on high alert after a spearfisherman had a terrifying close call with a 2.5m great white shark.

The man’s catch bag was damaged by the shark while he was cleaning fish in the water at Cape Le Grand National Park’s popular beach Thistle Cove on Saturday afternoon.

The catch bag had been connected to a float line 15m from where the spearfisherman was putting fish offal in the water.

Despite the close call taking place on Saturday, it was only reported to Water Police this afternoon.

The great white remained near the shore for a short time after the incident.

People are urged to take caution in the Thistle Cove area and asked to follow beach closures or warnings by Shire of Esperance and Parks and Wildlife rangers.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is monitoring the situation and warned shark activity “may increase” while fish offal or similar is in the water.

The sighting came half an hour after a birthday paddle ended in panic for a Perth grandfather when a shark latched onto his board 300 metres off the Yallingup coast.

Gary May said the sudden face-to-face attack hit him like a “bolt of lightning” about 3.30pm and left him stunned.

On Sunday about 9am, a medium bronze whaler was sighted 50m offshore at the national park’s nearby Lucky Bay.

There have been several other shark sightings along the Esperance coast in the past week, including three within 10m of Salmon Beach, three near Fourth Beach yesterday and one lingering in Twilight Cove near the local surf club.

People who spot sharks are urged to report the sighting to Water Police on 9442 8600.

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