Remember that worst case scenario you’d play over and over again in your head during age group practice? You know, the one where JAWS is waiting to greet you in the deep end to stealthily attack you in the middle of a set? That extremely unlikely scenario actually came to pass this week at a Sydney, Australia pool, though with very little danger involved.
Swimmers at Palm Beach rock pool down under went about their lap swimming business, all the while unaware that a juvenile dusky whaler shark was in their midst. The approximately 80cm-long shark is thought to have been swept into the pool with the overnight tide.
“We don’t know how it ended up in the pool, but there have been high tides and sometimes they come in on the high tide,” Hope Nugent from Manly Sea Life Sanctuary said. “You do tend to get other animals, such as stingrays, but it’s quite infrequent for sharks to get caught in there.”
The shark is said to not be a danger to humans. One swimmer even called the experience of swimming alongside the creature as ‘beautiful.’ Said Jennifer Hill to The Manly Daily, “It was a beautiful experience. My initial response was obviously it wasn’t very hungry because it had ample opportunity.
“Everybody who swam in the pool this morning didn’t know…except one person.”
Marine biologists successfully retrieved the young shark and placed it back into the nearby open water.
Below is the Facebook post of one of the swimmers in the pool at the same time as the shark. Her post reads, “So today I swam my laps with a beautiful female Bronze Whaler Baby Shark, as did everyone who swam laps this morning. I spent just over an hour in the rock pool at Palm Beach and didn’t know until I was walking up the steps to get out that she was in there. After a number of phone calls, the awesome Life Guards and Council tried but she was too quick for them. Eventually the Manly Sealife Sanctuary Crew came, carried out a textbook rescue and within 10 mins she was released back into the ocean.”