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01/29/2023 Boat Attacked Victoria Australia - No Injury

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01/29/2023 Boat Attacked Victoria Australia - No Injury

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Ramped up patrols continue after 3m great white shark bites boat’s motor off Portland coast

Increased patrols will continue off the Portland coast in south-west Victoria after a large great white shark was filmed bitting a boat’s motor.
Key points:

Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) says the great white shark sighted on Friday was likely 3 metres or larger
Beachgoers urged to exercise additional caution in the area
VFA says it's not unusual to see great white sharks off the Victorian coastline

Video shared to social media captured the shark’s memorable encounter with fishermen Peter Galea and Joseph McKinnon on Friday.

Mr Galea recounted the "pretty frightening" experience to ABC Statewide Drive.

"He went under the boat, he lifted it about 10 centimetres out the water … as he came up for the motor, he came up on his side and he was looking at me, jet black eyes, and then when he bit the motor, his eyes rolled white," he said.

The sighting sparked an advice warning for Portland from Vic Emergency, which remains in place.

Today, the Victorian Fisheries Authority confirmed the shark had not been seen since the encounter.

VFA chief executive Travis Dowling said based off the video footage and eye-witness accounts, the shark likely measured at least 3 metres — larger than previously reported by authorities.

"It was a fish pushing 700 kilograms, even a tonne in weight. We’re talking quite a large shark."

According to Britannica, most fully grown great white sharks weigh between 680kg to 1,800kg.

Mr Dowling said ramped-up water and beach patrols would continue for at least the next week.

"If there's no further observations of the shark and when we believe we've probably passed a period where there's no longer heightened risk to the public, then we'll return to normal operations," he said.

Mr Dowling said it was unclear whether the shark was directly drawn to the area because of two beached whale carcasses on the sand.

The carcasses have prompted a separate advice message for Portland and Portland North, with beachgoers advised to "exercise additional caution" and not enter the water at Anderson Point.
Great whites 'not rare' off Victorian coast

Mr Dowling said it was not unusual for the often-misunderstood creatures to cruise along the coast.

"We quite regularly bump into whites along the Victorian coastline," he said.

"They're not unusual all the way from Mallacoota through to Lakes Entrance.

"We have interacted with them without incident for many years, and we hope that's the case moving into the future."

He said there had been fewer than average shark sightings this summer.

"There are lots of contributing factors as to why sharks may be coming in closer or why people may be observing them … warmer ocean currents, different bait schools moving around.

"But for whatever factors, it's a pretty below-standard year in terms of the number of sightings."

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