Mandurah man recounts ‘scary’ moment shark ‘lunged’ at his jetski 100m from popular beach

Headshot of Kasey Gratton
Kasey GrattonMandurah Times
VideoThe encounter south of Perth happened at Town Beach.

A Mandurah man has described the “scary” moment a shark “lunged” at his jetski early on Wednesday morning.

Wannanup resident Brian Osmon was about 100m off Town Beach about 7am after launching from the Mandurah Marina when he noticed what he thought was a dolphin next to him — a common sight in Mandurah’s waterways.

“I was just idling along at about 10km/h, if that, lost in my own thoughts,” he said.

“I saw a dorsal fin come up beside me and thought ‘Oh, a dolphin’ and looked down and went, ‘That’s not a dolphin — that’s a very big shark’.”

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Mr Osmon said the shark, which was longer than his jetski and estimated its length to be more than two metres long, was cruising next to him before “swerving” towards the jetski.

“The dorsal fin appeared, and it was sort of swimming alongside me for maybe a second and then lunged sideways at the ski,” he said.

“I don’t know whether it was trying to swim underneath it.

“But it was certainly enough to move the ski ... I was standing up and it was enough to rock the ski to the point where if I weren’t aware that it was coming, I would have fallen off.”

Town Beach in Mandurah has been closed after a jet skier was bumped by a shark.
Camera IconTown Beach in Mandurah has been closed after a jet skier was bumped by a shark. Credit: Daniel Wilkins/ Daniel Wilkins

Mr Osmon believes the shark was a bronze whaler and that it was fishing in the shallow water at the time of the incident.

“I’ve obviously disturbed it or it’s just got curious,” he said.

“And as it’s got closer, it’s decided I’ll give this a nudge and find out.

“I took off very quickly, and there was a boat anchored probably about 300m away, so I headed straight out to him and said can you jump on the marine radio and let Marine Rescue know straight away so they close the beach.”

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development closed the beach not long after.

Mr Osmon described the incident as scary but said it hadn’t deterred him from taking to the water.

“Most definitely, I’ll be back out there tomorrow,” he said.

“My opinion of this is, we’re in their environment and it’s a calculated risk you take.”

The keen jetskier takes his vessel out most mornings around Mandurah and said he had seen sharks before but never of that size.

“I’ve never had one do that sort of thing, ram (the jetski),” Mr Osmon said.

“Normally, I’m not too stressed when I see a shark, it just swims off, the jetski noise sort of scares it and it swims straight away.”

After reporting the sighting, Mr Osmon was contacted by DPIRD who said they would send a scientific team to examine the hull of his jetski to see if any DNA was present that could identify the shark species.

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