Shark scares surfers at Coolum on Sunshine Coast

COOLUM Beach was closed for an hour yesterday after a young surfer competing in the Coolum Boardriders contest saw a shark.

President Chris Barraclough said his 11-year-old son Kai had just paddled out for his heat when he got a scare that sent him paddling for the beach.

"He was out the back in his heat and he heard a swish behind him like a surge of water and looked around and saw a brown coloured fin," he said.

"He then bolted in with his other mates that were out there surfing and we called the comp off from that and the lifesavers closed the beach for an hour."

Mr Barraclough said his son was certain it had been a shark that he'd seen.

"We didn't know what was going on at first. We didn't know why he was coming in because his heat had only just started.

"When he got in we made sure what he saw was correct. He's been surfing long enough to know the difference between a shark and a dolphin and he was a bit shaken up, he didn't want to go back out."

Mr Barraclough said his daughter Jade had thought she'd seen a shark while she'd been surfing in her heat that same day.

"My daughter saw one in the morning as well and came in all shakey and a bit shocked just saying that she saw a shark."

Mr Barraclough said while the encounter had been scary, he didn't think it would stop his kids or any of the other boardriders from surfing.

"They'll be fine, it's just a part of surfing," he said.


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