Harbour Swim To Go Ahead Despite Shark Attacks 2009: Harbour Swimming

Harbour swim to go ahead despite shark attacks

A HARBOUR swimming contest will go ahead next month despite a recent warning by a Government minister that the harbour is unsafe because of
the risk of shark attacks. Sydney Harbour Swim Classic organiser Adam Wilson confirmed that the event, on March 1, would run as it had for the past seven years. The event’s one-kilometre and two-kilometre races start beside the Opera House, near Woolloomooloo Bay, where a shark attacked navy diver Paul de Gelder, 33, on Wednesday. Surfer Glen Orgias, 33, had his hand nearly severed at Bondi Beach the following day. Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald said yesterday he had no problem with the event proceeding given the numbers of competitors and the fact that boats would be patrolling the water. But he warned: “All competitors must remember there are no 100 per cent guarantees when swimming in the ocean.” Mr Wilson lambasted Mr Macdonald for saying last week there was no way he would swim anywhere but in a netted swimming enclosure or pool in the harbour. “He’s gutless,” he said. “He shouldn’t say that. We’re a nation of swimmers. Saying people shouldn’t swim is like saying people shouldn’t drive. “Let’s be realistic. [Sharks] are there and we know they are there.”
He said he would monitor shark sightings in the harbour in the days before the event. He was satisfied with the safety program, which included rubber duckies, NSW Maritime patrol boats, safety divers and lifesavers on boards. The first race did not start until 9am, well past the dawn hours, when sharks were known to be active.

Event Location:
Event Date and Time:
Starts at: