It was a frightening experience for a surfer involved who says the brute took a chunk out of his board.
“We were about to start Nippers and a few of the boys who were surfing came in, including one with a sizeable dent to his board,” beachgoer Murray Cole told 9News.
After alerting lifesavers at South Cronulla Beach, the water was cleared as jet skis, inflatables and drones began to search for suspects.
“He felt a pull on his leg rope and believed what he thought was a shark,” Surf Life Saving Sydney director Matt Spooner told 9News.
Chantelle Pusell, another beachgoer, said when she heard the shark alarm and then saw the police helicopter fly over the beach, she thought it was not an average sighting.
“I thought this was a bit more serious than a normal shark alarm,” she told 9News.
Lifesavers have issued a shark alert for right along the strip of the Shire’s foreshore, with Wanda, Eloura, North and South Cronulla closing their beaches for the next 24 hours.
The incident is now being investigated by the Department of Primary Industries.