Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Friend in Need Is a Friend Indeed

Within a day of our post how outstanding Australian lifeguards are and how safe they make ocean swims, the worldwide media broadcast sensational news on the lifeguard heroics during a popular race near Sydney around an appropriately named island called Shark Island.

When two sharks got precariously close to the swimmers in the 2.3K Cronulla Shark Island Swim and the 1K Cronulla Beach Fun Swim, the Australian lifeguards immediately jumped into emergency mode.

Officials used helicopters and boats to force the large hammerhead out to sea while a smaller shark disappeared.

The recent shark attacks and sightings in Sydney, however, forced the cancellation of the 11K Bridge to Beach Swim from Sydney's Harbour Bridge to Manly Wharf.

Dean Gardiner, Race Director of the popular Bridge to Beach Swim that had over 300 entries in 2009, officially informed the swimmers, "Due to the recent increase in shark incidents and sightings in and around Sydney Harbour, we have decided to cancel the swim leg of this year’s Manly Wharf Bridge to Beach. Unlike most ocean swims, our event sees entrants spread over 11km of Sydney Harbour in sections where large sharks have been spotted in the last fortnight. We are unable to implement adequate preventative measures over this sort of distance and therefore have taken the difficult decision of cancelling the swim for this year."

Our Australian colleagues continue to earn our utmost respect, especially those brave and fast-acting lifeguards from Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club.

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