A WHITE shark 30 metres from shore and trailing a group of divers off Flynns Beach in just three metres of water has prompted a safety warning from Port Macquarie-Hastings lifeguards.
The warning comes two weeks after a 35-year-old woman was mauled while surfing off Shelly Beach.
Chantelle Doyle, 35, was rushed to Port Macquarie Base Hospital on August 15 with serious leg injuries after she was bitten by a juvenile great white on her calf and thigh.
Her husband Mark Rapley came to the rescue, jumping on the shark and punching it repeatedly until it let her go before he placed her on his board and rushed to shore where bystanders rendered assistance until emergency services arrived.
Port Macquarie ALS lifeguards and Department of Primary Fisheries (DPI) have monitored the coastline since the attack and have reported an increase in shark activity.
"We all know sharks live in the ocean. And we all know that when we swim or surf that we are entering the sharks' home/territory," head lifeguard James Turnham said.
"However, we wish to provide a stern warning to all ocean lovers that there is currently very heightened shark activity in the area.
"Sharks of considerable size and species are being spotted daily and very close to shore. The latest occurrence at Flynns Beach, 30 metres from rocks in the middle of the beach in three metres of water, where a white shark was following a group of divers.
"We ask everyone intending on swimming or surfing to take extra precautions and be alert."
Mr Turnham stressed there are no lifeguard or lifesaver patrols this time of year.
If surfing, encouraged people to use the shark alert apps before going out, or surf in a group that is monitored with safety measure controls and risk management in place.
It is not unusual for there to be an increase in shark numbers during the whale migration season. The waters are cooler and there are also good stocks of bait fish off the coast.
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