ESCAPING the heat on New Year's Day turned out to be a challenge for swimmers in Sydney and South Australia where shark alarms forced the closure of a number of popular beaches.
Thousands were called out of the water at Bondi Beach after a large shark was spotted lurking off the northern headland.
Stubborn surfers braved the waves at Dee Why beach near Manly where a great white attacked a lifeguard's board on Sunday and returned for round two on Tuesday.
Danny Shearer was swimming at Dee Why when a 2.5m juvenile great white shark bit a chunk out of his surfboard.
Lifesavers and patrol helicopters attempted to herd the shark out to sea but it remained close to shore.
They believe it was the same shark spotted circling the area on Tuesday.
In South Australia, Moona and Christies Beaches near Adelaide were evacuated after two 2.5metre sharks were spotted metres from shore.
The sightings came days after a man lost his finger in a shark attack on the NSW mid north coast.
The man was surfing off Diamond Head near Port Macquarie when a bull shark bit his hand.
Coffs Harbour senior lifeguard Sonny Tisdell told the ABC that while shark activity was common in the area, the risk of attack was low and sticking to patrolled beaches was the best way to stay safe.
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