My Beach

After a busy couple of weeks in the air, the crew of the south west Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter service has praised the actions of ocean users, who heeded warnings to leave the water following two recent shark sightings.

At around 10.30am on Tuesday morning, while conducting a patrol between Busselton and Margaret River, the helicopter crew observed a 3-metre white shark approximately 200m offshore and tracking towards two dive vessels located nearby.

Advising the nearby Lifeguard service at Bunker Bay of the sighting, the heli crew proceeded to sound the on-board siren, notifying the crew of the vessels who responded by pulling their divers from the water, mitigating any potential risk posed by the presence of the shark.

Just over an hour later, whilst on return from Margaret River and tracking over the Cape Naturalist area, the crew spotted a 2.5 metre unknown shark only 10 metres offshore, heading towards a group of surfers at the popular surf break “The Other Side of the Moon”.

Westpac Lifesaver Rescue crew member Matt Wenman noted that there were 10 surfers in the water at the time who would have been unaware of the potential threat.

“Coming in low to hover over the shark, we sounded our on-board alarm to warn the group of the potential danger, with all individuals choosing to heed our warnings and exit the water in response to our actions,” said Mr Wenman.

Hanging around until the last of the surfers left the ater, it was great to see them positively acknowledge our presence with a wave and thumbs-up.”

“When you have a busy day like this and ocean users respond positively, recognising our efforts to help keep them safe, the value that this service provides to our community is clear to see,” said Mr Wenman.

The State government funded south west Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter currently patrols 7 days a week across the summer and school holidays. The south west patrols are part of the State Government’s $3.4 million investment into beach and aerial patrols this season.

For all the latest up to date shark sighting information follow SLSWA on Twitter @slswa or visit the shark activity map on

The State Government recently launched the Sea Sense campaign which helps inform WA beach goers about the McGowan Government’s shark mitigation strategies, which are based on science and robust research, and how best to use them so they can keep enjoying the beach with confidence.