People are being advised not to frequent the water near the shore of popular spot Bulli Beach after a suspected Great White Shark – estimated to be 20ft (6m) long – was spotted tucking into the dead Whale’s remains.
The remains of the whale – thought to be a juvenile humpback – washed up into rocks close to the shore between Sandon Point and Bulli Beach on Thursday afternoon.
A drone operator spotted the massive shark after a “significant number of sharks” were seen in the area by various witnesses.
Images show the giant shark circling a boat and almost taking a bite out of the vessel’s engine.
It is thought the sharks were already feeding off the carcass before it made its way to shore.
Geo Mattis, who shared the frightening images of the marine beast on Instagram, wrote: “Safe to say I won’t be surfing Peggys for a few days.”
Illawarra Council closed beaches at Bulli, Thirroul, Sandon Point and Woonona on Friday, while lifeguards urged people not to exercise on the sand.
Lifeguards are working with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, as well as New South Wales Police to safely remove the carcass from the beach.
They plan to tow the carcass to a boat ramp and transport it to a Wollongong waste facility site later today.
In a statement, Wollongong Council said: “We’re asking everyone to stay out of the water between Sandon Point and Bulli Beach.
“There has been significant number of sharks spotted in the area after a dead whale was washed up at Waniora Point, Bulli.”
Meanwhile, local authority Surf Life Saving NSW said on Twitter: “Surf Life Saving Illawarra is #warning swimmers, surfers and divers not to enter the water at #Bulli and Sandon Point beaches due to a significant number of large #sharks in the area feeding on a dead #whale carcass.”
Lifeguards have been on high alert after a surfer in Queensland died in a shark attack earlier this week.
Nick Slate, 46, died shortly after being bitten on the leg by a suspected great white at the Gold Coast’s Greenmount Beach on Tuesday.
It was the first fatal shark attack at the popular Gold Coast – popular with tourists – in almost 60 years.