Thursday, 29 November 2012

Blood red algal bloom at Bondi Beach


Too bad the Daily Mail specialises in climate change denial! Mind you, nothing to do with that! - LOL

The crimson tide: Tourists in Australia flee as Bondi Beach turns into the 'Red Sea' because of rare algae bloom

  • Beaches closed over health fears but some swimmers are braving the water
  • Phenomenon caused when tiny plants flourish due to unusual conditions
  • They can appear in various colours often with spectacular results 
  • Algae is high in ammonia which can cause skin rashes and eye irritation 
  • Large numbers of fish are believed to have perished


27 November, 2012

Tourists heading for world-famous Bondi Beach were left high and dry today after a rare natural phenomenon turned the water blood red.


Bondi was among several popular beaches in and around Sydney, Australia, which had to be closed after a huge algae bloom transformed the sea into something resembling a scene from a Jaws movie. 


But despite the warnings a number of intrepid beachgoers were seen venturing into the water and swimming through the red surface, Ten News Sydney reported.


Bloodbath: An intrepid swimmer heads towards a patch of red algae bloom off the coast of Sydney, Australia, where the rare natural phenomenon has turned the water the colour of blood
Bloodbath: An intrepid swimmer heads towards a patch of red algae bloom off the coast of Sydney, Australia, where the rare natural phenomenon has turned the water the colour of blood

A red wave breaks off Sydney's Bondi Beach, one of several around Sydney which had to be closed due to the rare algae bloom
Closed: A red wave breaks off Sydney's Bondi Beach, one of several around Sydney which had to be closed due to the rare algae bloom


The natural phenomenon is caused when algae, a plant-like organism flourishes and large groups of the miniscule plants, which can appear in various colours, gather together often with spectacular results.

Known as Nocturnal Scintillans or sea sparkle it has no toxic effects but people are still advised to avoid swimming in areas with discoloured water because the algae, which can be high in ammonia, can cause skin irritation.


British tourists were among large groups of visitors who were told by lifeguards not to enter the water until the all-clear was given because the algae can irritate the skin and cause other health problems.


Ken Roberts, 23, from Birmingham, England said: ‘Perhaps I’m just in the wrong country – I thought the Red Sea was somewhere in Asia.’


A mother and her child look out over the 'Red Sea' of Sydney's Clovelly beach. Despite health warnings a number of defiant swimmers were seen venturing into the water
A mother and her child look out over the 'Red Sea' of Sydney's Clovelly beach. Despite health warnings a number of defiant swimmers were seen venturing into the water


High and dry: Several popular beaches around Sydney including Bondi and Clovelly (pictured) had to be shut after the algae, known as Nocturnal Scintillans or sea sparkle, flourished
High and dry: Several popular beaches around Sydney including Bondi and Clovelly (pictured) had to be shut after the algae, known as Nocturnal Scintillans or sea sparkle, flourished


Tomato soup: While the red algae has no toxic effects people are still advised to avoid swimming in areas with because it can be high in ammonia which can cause skin irritation
Tomato soup: While the red algae has no toxic effects people are still advised to avoid swimming in areas with because it can be high in ammonia which can cause skin irritation

Tourists and locals are hoping that the algae will have dissipated by the weekend, when temperatures are expected to reach 40c
Tourists and locals are hoping that the algae will have dissipated by the weekend, when temperatures are expected to reach 40c

Tourists and locals are hoping that the algae will have dissipated by the weekend, when temperatures are expected to reach 40c

Local lifeguard Bruce Hopkins said: 'It has quite a fishy smell to it.
'It makes the water look like it has a coating of tomato-sauce coloured oil.’
The algae has already disappointing thousands who had headed to the coast to cool off as the summer Down Under finally gets under way of a prolonged cold period.

The New South Wales (NSW) Office of Water has been carrying out a series of tests to discover what caused the bloom.

One theory is that it was caused by an upwelling of colder nutrient-rich water.


A gull stands in the discoloured water of Clovelly Beach. Large numbers of fish are believed to have perished from the effects of the algae
A gull stands in the discoloured water of Clovelly Beach. Large numbers of fish are believed to have perished from the effects of the algae
A swimmer sticks to the safety of a pool as the algae transforms the surrounding sea. Tests are underway to find out what cause the phenomenon
A swimmer sticks to the safety of a pool after the algae transformed the surrounding sea. Tests are underway to find out what caused the phenomenon


A spokesman said that the blooms, sometime referred to as 'red tides', are more common around spring and autumn when the water temperature is higher and there are greater movements in ocean currents.


Large numbers of fish are believed to have perished from the effects of the algae.
A spokesman for the local council said red algae could be dangerous to some humans exposed to it.


There are some possible risks to human health including skin rashes and eye irritation and for this reason the beach will remain closed until the algae dissipates,’ he said.


Tourists and locals are hoping that the algae will have dissipated by the weekend, when temperatures are expected to reach 40c.


For video GO HERE

And meanwhile in the state of Victoria....

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Algae find prompts beach fears as mercury rises

As Victoria endures one of its hottest November days, authorities are warning beachgoers to avoid going near an algal bloom off the Surf Coast at Torquay.


29 November, 2012

As Victoria endures one of its hottest November days, authorities are warning beachgoers to avoid going near an algal bloom off the Surf Coast at Torquay.
The marine algal bloom, first reported on Thursday between Bells Beach and Lorne, has moved closer to the shore and pictures show it is within reach of surfers at Torquay.

A Department of Sustainability and Environment spokeswoman said the department was considering running tests on the bloom, which is being monitored. The department could not rule out closing the beach.

The pinkish, tan-coloured material looks like oil and is not believed to be related to a red algal bloom off Bondi in Sydney earlier this week. The spokeswoman said algal blooms occurred when there had been heavy rains followed by sunny and calm weather.


Beach users should avoid going near any algal bloom as it can cause skin irritation. Anyone who comes in contact with it should wash it off with clean water.

"Algal blooms are rarely harmful to human health, however DSE and the Surf Coast Shire advise people to avoid contact with any water that looks murky or discoloured," a department statement said.

Algal blooms are made up of tiny, floating marine plants. Toxic blue-green algae, like those that occur in Victoria's lakes, dams and rivers do not grow in the salty marine waters.

More information about the blooms is available through Visitor Information Centres.

Suspected algal blooms, discoloured water or floating slicks should be reported to the

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