Tourist family get up close with washed up mako on Coffin Bay beach

ENCOUNTER: Nalani, Aurora, Izaac, Lexie, Kylah and Bonnie Rae get up close with the mako shark on Almonta Beach in Coffin Bay National Park. Photo: Chasing the Raes
ENCOUNTER: Nalani, Aurora, Izaac, Lexie, Kylah and Bonnie Rae get up close with the mako shark on Almonta Beach in Coffin Bay National Park. Photo: Chasing the Raes

A family visiting the Eyre Peninsula got up close and personal with an unexpected creature of the deep, when they came across a shortfin mako shark that had washed up at a local beach recently.

Izaac and Bonnie Rae from Bermagni, New South Wales have been travelling around Australia full time for about a year with their children Kylah, Lexie, Nalani and Aurora, and have been travelling around Eyre Peninsula for the past two and a half months.

Bonnie Rae said they were staying at one of the campgrounds in the Coffin Bay National Park for four days and on Monday, January 17 they came across an unexpected sight on Almonta Beach.

"We were there the day before and when we were at the campgrounds the next morning there were some people around who said how there was a shark washed up on the beach there so we went down to have a look," she said.

"We found it right at the entrance to the beach...we were lucky that it had only just washed up and didn't smell yet."

Mrs Rae said they identified the shark as a mako shark as her husband recognised it from his time fishing in New South Wales.

"We went up to it and touched it, it was really smooth and not at all what I was expecting," she said.

"It was a cool experience for the kids to see, it was something different."

The department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) decribes the shortfin mako shark as a migratory species found in the South Australian shelf and oceanic waters throughout the year with some juveniles and adults sometimes seen at reefs in the southern Spencer Gulf.

A PIRSA spokesperson said the shark was reported by a member of the public, however there were no matters of concern the department was aware of in relation to the death of the shark.

"Given the relatively remote location, after discussions between the relevant agencies it was decided to leave the shark where it was."

Having enjoyed their experience at Coffin Bay, the Raes have moved on to Port Lincoln with the plan of travelling to Western Australia, should travel restrictions allow.

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