A helicopter pilot warned a group of surfers at Wallabi Point this week that sharks were closing in.
This is part of the State government’s aerial surveillance of beaches during the school holidays.
Rob Brudar of Wallabi Point was out with a group of young surfers including his daughter at the main beach at Wallabi when they were warned by the pilot there were sharks in the vicinity.
“We were about 200 metres out when the chopper first went overhead and we gave him a wave,’’ he said.
"Then all of a sudden he circled back and indicated there were sharks close to us,’’ Rob said.
The group quickly made their way back into the beach without any problems.
“I didn’t actually see any sharks, although one of the girls said she thought she saw a fin, but thought it was a dolphin,’’ Rob said.
He said it was about 10.30 on a beautiful morning when the drama occurred.
“It was a great day – the water was clear,’’ he said.
Rob isn’t so sure the sharks were particularly interested in him or his group.
“There were heaps of whales about,’’ he said.
“We counted about eight or nine whales with their calves heading south. I think the sharks were more interested in them than us.’’
Rob, a veterinarian, is an experienced surfer and fully realises that sharks are part of the terrain, although he concedes this was a bit of a wake-up call.
He said his young companions were ‘a bit shaken up.’
“They didn’t want to go out again that day,’’ he said.
The (young surfers) didn’t want to go out again that day. But it won’t stop them surfing. They’ll be backSurfer Rob Brudar
“But it won’t stop them surfing. They’ll be back’’
Rob’s wife, Kelly, missed the drama as she was at work, but praised the action of the helicopter pilot and the effectiveness of the service.
“He's got the kids out three times in the past year after spotting sharks,’’ Kelly said.
“We are so grateful to him and the service provided.
“Even though you know the sharks are always there, it is a reassurance every time the chopper flies over. The kids now know that if he hovers or circles or, like this week, yells from his window while sounding the alarm, to get out of the water fast.
“I’d love to find out who he is and thank him.’’