Editorial: Shark story brings back thoughts of a certain Jaws

By Annemarie Quill

Shark fin above water
Shark fin above water

"Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water," are words ingrained in my brain from childhood when the Jaws movies scared the heebie-jeebies out of kids and adults alike worldwide - or at least they did me.

The original movie recently screened on Rialto Channel one Saturday evening. I settled down to watch it with my three children telling them that when I was their age, this was the scariest movie of all time.

This caused them great amusement as they watched, telling me how "lame" it was. I was a tad put out, but I accepted that kids are not easily impressed when films are now computer-generated and in 3D. Then it got to the scene where Jaws leaps out and bites the fisherman in half. All three kids screamed, and leaped out of their chairs and jumped on my knee. Ha, gotcha!

Luckily this screen experience has not scarred them for life as they still love to swim in the sea.

Rightly so, as we live in a region with arguably some of the country's best beaches. Shark wise, I am told, Bay beaches are relatively safe.

The recent sighting of a shark near Waihi Beach - reported on page 3 today - is the third in as many days but, as the local lifeguard says, this kind of thing happens commonly in New Zealand at this time of year and locals are not overly concerned.

Most swimmers and beachgoers can adopt a similar sanguine attitude. Still, it is good to know that the Lifeguard Service can warn us about such issues.

Then you can make the choice yourself to carry on regardless, run from the beach madly screaming "shark" at the top of your lungs, or probably the most rational: adopt a stance somewhere in between the two extremes.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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