A Great White Shark swims past a diving cage off Gansbaai about 200 kilometres east of Cape Town
A Great White Shark swims past a diving cage off Gansbaai about 200 kilometres east of Cape Town. Hunted to the brink of extinction in the 1970's and 1980's, the Great White is now a protected specis in many parts of the world. In South Africa shark cage diving forms a growing business in the eco- and adventure tourism industries. Reuters/Ho New

Newcastle beaches may remain closed for one more day as there are repeated sightings of a large great white shark. This will be the sixth day swimmers will be kept out of the Newcastle water.

The great white shark, which is five-metre long, was first spotted on Saturday at Merewether Beach. It was seen again on Tuesday at Burwood Beach. The shark is sighted in a region stretching 10 to 12 kilometres. According to Nobbys Beach inspector Paul Bernard, the shark is capable of biting a person in half. Bernard said that it would not be possible to get a second chance with such a creature. Newcastle Council aquatic services coordinator Peter Withers said that "the big one" was seen consistently, every day. "Certainly it's the biggest shark we've ever had and it's hung around longer than any other shark," Yahoo News quotes Withers.

According to a statement by the Newcastle Council, lifeguards have been working extending hours so that everyone can be warned about the dangers of going in the waters. The council asks for everyone's cooperation in remaining out of the water at the beaches until lifeguards are satisfied that the shark has moved out of area waters. The statement also says that the lifeguards emphasise that this great white shark is of a size that has not been seen before around Newcastle. The shark appears to be nearly full grown at an estimated five metres in length which would make its weight around 1700kg. The council further emphasises that it is not safe for board riders to be out in the water, even close to shore, as sharks are known to move into the surf zone, hunting prey between where the surf breaks and the shoreline.

The weather has apparently played a major role in the shark's presence in the water. Warm and overcast weather along with increased marine activity may have been responsible for the giant creature to have a prolonged presence in the water. Newcastle waters are being combed with helicopters but the shark has not been spotted during a search. The Sydney Morning Herald reports, according to Surf Life Saving NSW figures, there have been 165 occasions this season, when beaches were closed due to shark sightings.

Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au