OPINION: Please don’t ignore aerial patrols' shark warnings

WE all know that sharks are out there swimming in the ocean at the same time we are taking a dip.

That's a given.

But today's dramatic front page image, which was taken off the coast of Ballina yesterday morning, shows just how close two surfers were to this large beastie.

READ MORE: Know shark patrol signals for 'immediate threat'

While most people on the Northern Rivers seem opposed to shark culling or nets, everyone seems keen on more aerial patrols.

These are currently being undertaken on a daily basis, so it seems silly for ocean goers to ignore these 'eyes in the sky' when they are looking out for our safety.

If you see a helicopter stop, hover in a certain spot over the ocean, and hear a siren wail or crewman signalling, it means there is a shark nearby.

Of course, individuals, being individuals can exercise their democratic right to ignore such warnings.

But is it fair on everyone else for them to do so?

Is it fair on other ocean goers to risk their own life to save yours if you have ignored a warning to get out of the water?

If we are not going down the road of culls or nets, and I am not advocating either of those methods, shouldn't we all obey warnings if we get them?

I know I am going to cop all sorts of letters and emails saying you are more likely to be run over by a car than you are to be attacked by a shark.

But if someone put in a set of traffic lights at that bad intersection wouldn't you stop?

Now that we are paying all this money for shark patrols, it is time for us to get serious about why they are up there in the first place.

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