BEWARE: Lighthouse Beach is still closed because of murky water
BEWARE: Lighthouse Beach is still closed because of murky water northern star - DAVID NIELSEN

Some Ballina beaches reopen after shark attack

SOME Ballina beaches reopened this morning to swimmers, four days after the fatal shark attack.

Sixteen-year-old Peter Edmonds was attacked on Tuesday by what is believed to have been a bull shark off North Wall at Ballina.

He died on the beach from blood loss.

After the attack authorities closed all beaches in the area.

The amount of fresh water coming down the Richmond River is making conditions off the coast murky.

Northern NSW Lifeguard co-ordinator Stephen Leahy said yesterday all but two beaches would reopen this morning for the start of school holidays.

Lighthouse Beach and Shelly Beach remain closed because of murky water. Mr Leahy said swimmers had been good about the closed beaches. "We haven't had anyone go in the water.

The publicity about the shark attack appears to have made most people reluctant to go in," he said.

There was a report of a large shark at Lennox Point yesterday morning.

Mr Leahy said it was a three-metre tiger shark which was known as a regular in the area.

Ken Thurlow, chief executive of ECOfishers, said people needed to heed warnings it was not safe to swim in murky water, or when it was overcast.

"Bull sharks are especially dangerous in these conditions and often gather at the mouths of rivers as they can move between salt and fresh water without ill-effect," he said.

"A school of bait fish comes along and these creatures are lurking at the mouth of the river looking out for a free feed.

They can't see distinctly and there's a theory that the white soles of swimmers' feet flash as they swim in dirty water and the sharks lunge, thinking it's the silver side of a fish."

Mr Thurlow said bull sharks were very, very dangerous because they could turn up anywhere, they were small-brained and their main objective was to find a meal.

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