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Hammerhead shark closes beach on Boxing Day

The sighting of a hammerhead shark sighting off Umina Beach caused the closure of the beach for more than an hour on Boxing Day, traditionally one of the busiest days of the year.

Umina Beach was closed at around 11:30am on following reports of a hammerhead shark sighting in the vicinity.

Upon being notified of the sighting, life guards on duty immediately sounded the shark alarm and cleared the water of swimmers and surfers.

Beach goers watched on as life guards entered the water in an inflatable rescue boat to perform a search for the hammerhead.

They were unable to find the shark and concluded that it left the beach of its own accord, saving them from having to shepherd the animal back out to sea.

According to Mr Liam Howitt of Surf Life Saving NSW, surf life savers from Ocean Beach were also notified of the shark sighting.

Mr Howitt said that, following a discussion between the two clubs, Ocean Beach life guards decided the beach could remain open with continuous monitoring.

Umina Beach was reopened just before 1pm when life guards were satisfied the immediate threat had passed.

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