Beach evacuated after shark swims under nippers
A TWO metre shark was spotted by a drone swimming underneath a group of nippers at Evans Head Sunday morning, prompting an emergency evacuation amid the wail of shark sirens.
Evans Head Surf Life Saving Club nipper coordinator Teena Redman was standing on the beach in radio contact with the drone operator, Mark Flaherty, as the emergency unfolded about 9.30am.
There were five nippers in the water swimming about 50m out at the time, accompanied by two lifesavers in the water and another two crewing the inflatable rescue boat (IRB) nearby.
"The drone operator alerted us to say there was shark swimming "pretty fast" and had just gone underneath the nippers and an IRB," Ms Redman said.
"It was about 2m and it was unknown what type of shark it was."
"The IRB picked up the nippers and the water safety.
"They brought them to shore."
Ms Redman estimated 40 people including swimmers and surfers were evacuated from the water on what was a stunning morning at the popular beach.
The beach remained close for about an hour, but the shark's whereabouts was unknown.
"The drone kept swimming along the beaches and the shark couldn't be seen again," Ms Redman said.
"It looks like the IRB may have scared it away."
She said the club was very grateful for the sponsorship it received from the Woodburn-Evans Head RSL Club to run the drone every weekend
"It is a huge benefit to the club.
"It gives everyone peace of mind."