Local News

Three dolphins save snorkeller and alert swimmers to shark at Rosedale


Dolphins came to the rescue of a snorkeller and swimmers on Saturday at Rosedale, dive bombing a whaler shark close to shore and only metres away from the snorkeller. Image courtesy Australian Museum. 

A snorkeller had a close encounter with a shark at Rosedale on Saturday afternoon and if it wasn't for three brave dolphins the outcome may have been very different. 

Shannon Myles Dunphy was snorkelling beyond the breakers at Nuns Beach, South Rosedale , when he saw a dolphin breaching about six metres away, he then saw the shark only about four metres from him, however the breaching dolphin landed on top of the shark, and two other dolphins then did the same, giving Shannon time to body surf into the shore, and alerting other swimmers to get out of the water.

Here's how Shannon told the story to us: 

"I am letting you know that I had a shark encounter at about 4pm on Saturday 26th at Nuns beach, South Rosedale.

"There were at least 20 witnesses to the incident that involved a large Whaler shark (approx. 10ft) close to shore. I was snorkelling just outside the breakers in calm, clear conditions 40m from the beach travelling from the southern end to the northern reef when I saw a dolphin breaching the surface 6m away from me. In the same instance I saw a shark between me and the dolphin at about 4m, the dolphin landed directly on top of the shark with two other dolphins doing the same from either side.

"The tail of shark whipped around the surface and into the air with its head still facing me which was my last line of sight as I managed to bodysurf my way to the shallows.

"The commotion lasted for 20 seconds and was distinguishable enough that the dozen or so swimmers, children and adults had deserted the water. The first conversation with witnesses once on shore was the shark, it had become airborne in unison with the dolphins and was quite evident that it was sizeable. The dolphins swam off in no time, as was the beachgoers with people leaving the area."