Schools across South Australia have paused ocean activities for thousands of students in response to a shark attack last week.
On Friday 32-year-old diver Bridgette O’Shannessy was attacked at Port Noarlunga jetty, and the aftermath was witnessed by students.
Today Education Department chief executive Professor Martin Westwell said remaining ocean aquatic activities for term four will be moved to other waterways where possible.
«Every attempt will be made for the students to continue their water activities at alternative sites, such as nearby lakes, rivers and inland waterways so that no students will miss out,» he said in a statement.
«They will still be getting their aquatic activities such as water safety programs and other things such as sailing and surfing, knee boarding, windsurfing, kayaking and canoeing, but in alternative locations.»
Westwell added that safety was the number one priority, and the education department will consult experts before returning activities to the ocean next year.
The rule applies to all public schools across the state, and some private schools have made a similar decision.
Surf Life Saving SA has criticised the move, saying it promotes an unfounded sense of fear and could have long term implications if proper ocean safety is not taught.
Surf Life Saving has written urgently to the education minister expressing its concerns.
O’Shannessy has undergone surgery for her injuries and remains in hospital.
It was the fourth shark attack in South Australia this year.
His body was never recovered but a part of his board and wetsuit were found.
A 64-year-old woman, Pam Cook
, survived being bitten while swimming at Beachport.