It’s the most Australian photo ever — a couple of beach bums sunning themselves in Sydney as a shark circles just metres away in a rockpool for swimmers.
The shark in question, a juvenile great white, first washed up on the popular Manly Beach about midday, and you could have forgiven people for keeping their distance.
Dan Korocz was among the stunned onlookers who saw the predator thrashing in the shallows.
“When you see a real-life shark, it’s scary,” he said.
“We were down on the beach for lunch with my family.
“I’ve got a four-year-old and a two-year-old and we went down to the waters’ edge and then it came in.”
Mr Korocz said the shark kept beaching itself on the sand, and that’s where staff from the Manly Sea Life Sanctuary stepped in.
The trained professionals used a sling to move the animal to the nearby Fairy Bower Pool and then later transported the shark to the sanctuary.
And the method of transport used could not have been more Australian.
“We … put it in a tub on the back of a ute,” said life sciences manager Rob Townsend.
The shark will remain at the aquarium overnight in an isolated tank but divers will keep it company.
“White sharks in general don’t do well in captivity for long periods of time so we have to have divers in there to make sure he doesn’t bounce off the walls,” Mr Townsend said.
“We have a roster of divers so there will always be someone in the water with it.”
Mr Townsend said as long as the shark’s condition does not deteriorate they hope to undertake a release back into the wild today.
The injuries on the shark are superficial, he said, and cognitive function appears normal.
“We hope to get to the bottom of why he washed up in the first place.”