Olympic sailor prey

Aerial shark patrols stepped up at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships

Wednesday December 7th 2011, Author: Richard Palfreyman, Location: Australia

Aerial shark patrols over the sailing courses for the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships have been stepped up after a credible sighting of a large shark in the Fremantle Fishing Boat harbour.

Event Director John Longley today briefed international sailing teams on the sighting late Tuesday, saying it was being taken seriously.

“The report was made by a professional fisherman who is regarded as a reliable source,” Longley told sailing officials. “We have informed Western Australian government authorities who will ensure that the usual helicopter shark patrol will concentrate on checking out the Fremantle course area. Our course boats and the Fremantle Rescue Service will also be on extra alert after the reported sighting.”

“The safety of athletes is paramount.” Longley said. “This is part of the reason why we changed the racing rules for the Perth 2011 ISAF Worlds not to penalise sailors who need assistance to get back into their boats after a capsize.”

More than 1100 sailors from 79 nations are taking part in the ISAF Sailing Worlds Championships being held between 3 – 18 December.

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