A shark attack at Lighthouse Beach in Ballina last Monday had rescue personel on alert on the first day of the Lifesaving season and the first week of the school holidays. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
A shark attack at Lighthouse Beach in Ballina last Monday had rescue personel on alert on the first day of the Lifesaving season and the first week of the school holidays. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star Marc Stapelberg

Shark attack fears: Would you ban your child from beach?

LOCALS have been divided over the idea of parents banning their children from swimming or surfing in the ocean following a recent shark attack.

Last week The Northern Star reported that a mother of three Anne Lewis had "banned until further notice" her two sons from surfing the Ballina beaches after 17-year-old Cooper Allen was bitten by a shark at Lighthouse Beach last Monday.

Over on The Northern Star's Facebook page, our readers got talking.

When asked if they would ban their child from the water some, like Emma Betteridge, replied "absolutely".

"Well geez our odds of an attack seem to be rising around Ballina.... for a mother it's the first thing to think of minimizing risk for your child. Yes up the gold coast sounds safer," Sarah Rose said.

"That reaction from a mother is quite understandable," John Heaton said.

Elizabeth Rose Leeson also agreed, saying it was best to use local swimming pools or Shaws Bay instead.

"Not until they fix the issue we will now only swim at the gold coast beaches now last shark attack in 1975 I'm done with the beaches here," Elizabeth Watts said.

However others were in complete disagreement.

"Why live in fear, just use caution when in or near the ocean," Cyn N Stu Dickson said.

"How many Children die each year from cars, bikes, skate boards etc? Now how children die from shark attacks each year? Time to stop the hysteria," Tony Martin said.

"Can't live your lives in bubble wrap, get out and get on with life," Tony Den said.

"Really? What a shame...more chance of car accident on the way TO and FROM the beach.... I'm sure Cooper will be back in!" Shanti Love said.

"It's more dangerous letting your child go to a public toilet on their own then been in the water," Christine Casson said.

"People die in hospitals all the time. We must stop people going to hospitals!" Ralph Ford said.



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