Carmel McInerney, of Ballina, takes a rose down to Shelly Beach after hearing about the shark attack.
Carmel McInerney, of Ballina, takes a rose down to Shelly Beach after hearing about the shark attack. Marc Stapelberg

COMMENT: Two attacks remind us of dangers of the ocean

OUR ocean has never looked so inviting as it does now in late summer with most of the tourists gone and school and work back to normal.

But two shark attacks in as many days has reminded us all the ocean is not a benign environment.

The shark that killed a surfer at Ballina yesterday likely mistook him for a larger animal like a seal or turtle.

It is a tremendously tragic and traumatic experience to have to endure and yet each time we enter the ocean we enter an environment that is inherently dangerous.

We all know that you are more likely to be run over by a bus than taken by a shark, but being taken by a shark has a much higher fear factor.

I am pleased to live in a community where this sort of tragedy doesn't lead to knee jerk reactions.

No one in authority has seriously mentioned shark netting or drum lines as a method of dealing with ocean predators.

We are not like the Gold Coast or Western Australia in that regard.

Awareness of shark and other marine animals and their place in the world is much higher here.

And there is an acceptance that is refreshing.

So even when you have the trauma of a fatal shark attack it doesn't lead to mass hysteria.

It is a time to heed the warnings of lifeguards and take precautions for your own safety.

Be aware, but don't be alarmed.

It's a tragedy for the surfer and his family and our deep condolences go out to them. at this sad time.



Man collapsed over steering wheel

premium_icon Man collapsed over steering wheel

Man allegedly found intoxicated in parked car with engine running

Air crews on standby as firefighters expect worse weather

Air crews on standby as firefighters expect worse weather

Fire-fighters ready to battle flames from the air

'We've had our houses burn down twice'

premium_icon 'We've had our houses burn down twice'

Residents forced to flee with little more than a single bag each