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Beachgoers warned to be on lookout for sharks

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Beachgoers were urged to be vigilant and work with the City of Cape Town’s partner, the Shark Spotters, to ensure the safety of all visitors to in-shore areas, the city’s environmental department said.

Spokesperson Gregg Oelofse said in a statement on Thursday that there had been 29 shark sightings at beach areas monitored by the Shark Spotters since September. Surfers were warned to be especially vigilant in the stretch between Sunrise and Macassar beaches, he said.

“Shark Spotters are monitoring identified beaches and the Fish Hoek shark exclusion net is being deployed and retrieved daily.”

Members of the public were encouraged to report any sightings of white sharks to the Shark Spotters.

The department suggested the following shark safety tips:

• Use beaches where Shark Spotters are on duty;

• Do not swim, surf or surf-ski when birds, dolphins or seals are feeding nearby, or where trek-netting, fishing or spear fishing is taking place;

• Do not swim in deep water beyond the breakers;

• Do not swim if you are bleeding;

• Do not swim, surf or surf-ski at night;

• Do not swim, surf or surf-ski if there has been a whale stranding nearby;

• Obey beach officials, lifeguards and Shark Spotters if told to leave the water;

• Be aware that the rate of encounters with white sharks rises significantly when the water temperature is warmer (18ºC or higher) and during new moon, due to increased opportunities for feeding;

• For those persons kayaking or surf-skiing far out to the sea: please consider paddling in groups and staying close together (in a diamond formation). News24

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