Shark sightings nothing to fear, says ocean swimmer
A SPATE of recent shark sightings along the Sunshine Coast is not cause for alarm, according to long-time Coolum resident Ron Hooper.
And he should know.
Every day Ron swims 250m out to sea with the 79ers swimming group.
In the 30 years since the group began its morning swims, members have seen only one shark.
Ron, who has been visiting or living in Coolum since he was a boy, said there had always been sharks swimming up and down the Coast.
To emphasise his point he produced a photo of a huge white pointer caught on a drum line off Sunshine Beach and towed into the Mooloolah River just over 30 years ago.
Sharks sighting and alarms were a regular occurrence in the past, he said.
"At Christmas time, when I was up here as a boy, the club used to catch a tiger shark nearly every year - about 14 foot and they'd bring it in as a display and to raise money.
"We used to call First Bay, Shark Bay.
"We wouldn't put our foot in the water. Everyone was wary of Shark Bay."
Ron said shark attacks were rare these days, considering "we've got people in the water from daylight to dark every day of the year".