Young surfers forced out of the water by shark in shallows

By and is republished with permission

A pair of young Bay of Plenty surfers had a close encounter with a “two-metre” shark cruising in the shallows yesterday.

A pair of young Bay of Plenty surfers had a close encounter with a “two-metre” shark cruising in the shallows yesterday (Source: Jane Trask)

Jane Trask and her family took a trip to Omanu Beach in Mt Maunganui – where her two sons, 12 and 9, had been surfing every day during the school holidays.

“So, they had begged me to go down and we’d been surfing for about, probably about an hour, and I was trying to get them out, but they were just still riding,” she told 1News.

At the end of their session, Trask’s older son spotted something moving in the water about a metre and a half away from him.

“So, the older one was about to get out. I thought it was his last ride, which it was,” she said.

“And he must’ve seen the shark, maybe like half a metre to a metre away from him, he reckons.

“And he just sort of hopped on his board and rode past the little one and said, ‘come on, bud, let’s go in now’.”

After getting out, the 12-year-old told his younger brother about the shark, which was cruising along in the shallows.

“The little one was like, ‘there’s two sharks! There’s two sharks!’ Because he’d seen the tail fin as well as the fin,” Trask said.

She said the family “quite liked seeing sharks” and were excited to follow it along the beach.

“We just followed it down the beach, and it was just sort of cruising through the waves.”

Shark scientist Dr Riley Elliott told NZ Herald the shark was likely a bronze whaler, as most were in the Mt Maunganui and Papamoa areas.

“They are pretty much harmless to people unless you overlap with fishing and disposing of fish,” he said.

In the video, one of the boys can be heard saying: “I ain’t going back out”, and, “I can’t believe we just saw a shark.”

Trask believes the boy’s composure comes from their education about shark safety.

“We teach them that if they see a shark to get out.”

After getting home, the family put the videos on the TV and realised it was “quite a decent size” — around 2 metres long.

“We’ve had some smaller ones before, but never one that big.”

After watching the videos for a bit, Trask said her sons immediately went back to the beach for some more surfing.

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