LIFEGUARD whistles had beach goers on the look out for a shark yesterday at One Mile but it was a brown snake that emerged from the water - right between the flags.
Olivia Moffatt was visiting the Great Lakes and emailed the Great Lakes Advocate a photo of the surprise visitor.
"Tourists and locals fled from the water after the whistles were blown. At first people were concerned it may have been a shark, only to discover a 1.5m brown snake."
The Great Lakes Advocate Facebook page was inundated with comments about it and many took a humorous approach. One posted a photo of Tony Abbott in his famous 'budgy smugglers' saying: "Here's another snake at the beach."
Brett Sando posted: "Got to luv Australia if it's not sharks in the water u also got to worry about brown snakes as well."
Some posted warnings like this from June Southwell: "There was a brown snake sunning itself a few weeks ago on the new foot path outside of the One Mile Surf Club, but the very brave surf livesaver gave it a squirt from the hose and it slithered back to the dune. I also ran into a large python on the walking track paralell to Oney this year. It must have been 5 ft and thick. It was beautiful. They are scary but they keep the rodent population under control."
And this from Danny Battle: "I have seen heaps of them over the years at Seal Rocks and Mungo beach when fishing. That's just a baby. Had one stand up and ready to strike 4WD on Mungo one afternoon must have been at least 2.5m."
Olivia and most of the other swimmers on the packed beach thought it was a kind of sea snake.
"The snake travelled out of the water and remained on the shore for a while until waves washed up against it. Raising its head, it headed for shade towards the lifeguard trailer and happily sat there until again moving up along the beach to the bush. On the way, as we were leaving, the snake began heading back down towards the sea at a quicker pace, but was not in the ocean as we left."
Local snake expert John Smith was called but he didn't have his special snake-wrangling van with him so advised lifeguards over the phone.
"I told him to just stay behind the snake. He said it was moving south towards the rocks and that he would call back if he needed anymore help and I never heard back so it must have gone towards the rocks."
More to come