Last updated: 04:00 PM ET, Wed August 19 2015

Several Australian Beaches Empty as Shark Sightings Climb

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | August 19, 2015

Several Australian Beaches Empty as Shark Sightings Climb

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Shark attacks and sightings at beaches in the United States have seemingly been rampant this year, but it’s not just America, as Australia is also reporting a large number of attacks and sightings in recent months.

In a report from Reuters, some of Australia’s top beaches have been almost completely deserted as sightings of sharks just off the coast continue to rise. In Australia's New South Wales state alone, there have been 11 shark attacks this year, compared to just three in each of the last two years.

Both surfers and families who typically come to the country’s beautiful beaches during the approaching summer months are thinking twice about it now. Beach-going regular Malcolm Reeder told Reuters, “To be honest, I'm rethinking taking my kids to the beach this year, it's too risky. A couple of years ago they got surf boards for Christmas. Maybe this year it'll be hiking boots.”

Helicopters flying over the beaches of one of the country’s biggest cities, Sydney, have captured footage of sharks swimming just off the coast of a beach that would usually be filled with swimmers and surfers.

On Twitter, Matt Vandenberg posted the following photo:

The fear comes from several well-publicized attacks this year already. Most recently, former boxer Craig Ison suffered serious injuries and was in a coma from a Great White shark attack on July 31.

Earlier that month, a body boarder named Matthew Lee suffered serious leg injuries when he was bit by a shark at Lighthouse Beach. The worst attack of them all, though, happened in February, as 41-year-old surfer Tadashi Nakahara was fatally attacked by a Great White shark near Shelly Beach.

The string of attacks and constant sightings this year has many beach patrons justifiably scared to enter the water.

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