Swimmers stranded on famous tourist rock as gigantic shark circles below in Western Australia

Frightening moment swimmers are stranded on famous Australian tourist island as ENORMOUS shark circles in the water beneath

  • Giant white shark spotted circling underneath popular tourist rock in WA
  • Swimmers were trapped on the rock just off Twilight Beach in Esperance
  • Surf Life Saving Club members were sent to rescue two men onboard a boat
  • Coastal town of Esperance has seen three fatal shark attacks in three years

A group of swimmers were left stranded on a popular tourist rock after a gigantic shark began circling in the water beneath them. 

The terrified captives were standing on a large rock a short swim from Twilight Beach in Esperance, on the south coast of Western Australia, last Thursday. 

Just moments before they jumped from the iconic rock into the ocean the swimmers spotted a large white shark just below the surface. 

Sharks are a common in the waters surrounding the coastal town of Esperance, which has reported three fatal shark attacks in three years.

White shark traps swimmers at Twilight Beach

‘It was crazy’ Two stranded swimmers had to be rescued from the Esperance’s Twilight Beach rock, after a white shark was spotted cruising just below them. DETAILS: 📹: Cale Walker

Posted by ABC Perth on Saturday, January 22, 2022

A shark alarm was quickly sounded to warn swimmers on the shore, however those standing on the rock were trapped.

Local Barry Graham had been standing on the sand at the time and revealed a few members of the group made a dash to shore when they thought the coast was clear.

Meanwhile, two others decided to stay put on the rock, and members from the Esperance Goldfields Surf Life Saving Club were deployed for the rescue mission. 

In aerial footage of the rock, the gigantic shark is seen swimming leisurely past the captives, oblivious to the panic triggered by its presence. 

Dane Holdman was one of the men inside the inflatable boat that pulled up alongside the rock for the rescue. 

The giant rock is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike to relax or jump into the crystal-clear water below (pictured)

The giant rock is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike to relax or jump into the crystal-clear water below (pictured)

‘Personally, I probably wouldn’t have gone in the water, just being the fact there is a shark and there are surf lifesaving members on their way to assist,’ he said. 

Locals have called for the WA government to bring in additional measures to curtail fatal shark attacks in the area, of which there have been three since 2017. 

Last month, a new shark barrier and safe swimming area was installed at the towns foreshore provide some residents some peace of mind over the summer. 

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The facilities have proven popular however locals and dedicated surfers have become increasingly concerned with the amount of sharks in the water. 

Premier Mark McGowan has introduced non-lethal measures in managing sharks like drum-lines, shark deterrent devices and warning systems. 

Sharks are a common feature of the coastal town of Esperance in Western Australia (pictured) which has reported three fatal shark attacks in three years (pictured, Twilight Bay)

Sharks are a common feature of the coastal town of Esperance in Western Australia (pictured) which has reported three fatal shark attacks in three years (pictured, Twilight Bay)

Shark-tagging has proved successful with 41 sharks tagged off the Esperance coast in the past four years, more than half of the total tagged across the state. 

The local community was particularly rattled by the death of diver Gary Johnson who was attacked by a giant shark just south of West Beach in January 2020. 

The 57-year-old had been diving with his wife at the time who tried in vain to save her husband by striking the shark on its nose and tail with a camera. 

Testing of his diving gear revealed the presence of a great white with the tragic death coming less than two years after a teenager was killed in 2017. 

Surfer Andrew Sharpe was also killed in a suspected shark attack in Esperance in October 2020, prompting the installation of three shark warning towers. 


– The White Shark is one of the few species of shark that is dangerous to humans and so it’s unsurprising the animal is feared across Australia. 

– The shark has a torpedo-shaped body, a pointed snout and large fins with black eyes and large serrated teeth and are coloured grey or brown. 

– While the species can be found worldwide in Australia they have been detected from southern Queensland to north-western Western Australia. 

– The sharks are powerful predators and are known to eat seals, sea lions, dolphins, dead whales, turtles and sea birds.  

– Great Whites are now protected in all Australian states and territorial waters and are also known as the White Shark or White Pointer. 

– Females can grow up to 6m in length while males are smaller at 4.5m with the specie believed to live for up to 30 years. 

– According to the Florida Museum, the shark is responsible for the most unprovoked attacks of any shark in the world.

– However, scientists are still learning about the biology, movements and vulnerability of the species. 

Source: The Australian Museum 


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