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12 sharks spotted in False Bay

Cape Town - Beach-goers seeking to enjoy the weather and waves at False Bay beaches will have to be on the alert as 12 great white sharks were spotted in the area over the weekend.

Nine of these sightings took place on Friday.

A Swiss tourist was bitten by a blue shark on Sunday during a free dive organised by one of False Bay's main shark dive operators. Credit: INLSA

According to Shark Spotters project manager Sarah Titley, this is nothing out of the ordinary. “It’s what we expect to see around this time year,” she said.

Of the nine sightings on Friday, two each were at the Clovelly, St James and Monwabisi beaches.

The other sightings on Friday were at Muizenberg, Glencairn and Fish Hoek.

The spotting programme at Monwabisi beach has been running since December 15 and brings the total number of beaches covered by the shark spotters to eight.

Each time a shark is spotted, a siren is sounded and all those in the water need to make their way out. A white flag sporting a black shark is raised, and no one is allowed back in the sea until the all-clear signal is given.

In a message posted on their Facebook page, Shark Spotters explained the number of sharks could be the result of a combination of warm water, baitfish and the abundance of yellowtail, which are a popular prey for white sharks.

Titley said there were no beaches that were of particular concern, though sharks are frequently sighted around False Bay.

Her advice to beach-goers is to check, upon arriving at the beach, when the last sighting was.

They could speak to either a shark spotter or a life guard.

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