ENDANGERED: A grey nurse shark.

IN DEEP: Straddie a haven for grey nurse sharks

LAUNCHING a dive boat carrying 12 scuba divers off a surf beach is hard work.

But that's what a group of Sunshine Coast divers did this week on beautiful North Stradbroke Island.

There are no boat jetties at Point Lookout so the local dive charter operator has no other option but to use the beach.

From Point Lookout, it is a short 10-minute trip out to Flat Rock.

Flat Rock is a small rocky island known to divers for the endangered grey nurse sharks.

The sharks - numbering up to a dozen at a time - gather close to the bottom in the narrow sand gutters area.

Grey nurse sharks breathe with their mouths open, exposing rows of sharp, pearly white teeth.

The experienced divers armed with underwater cameras can position their lenses within centimetres of the shark's head.

Although the sharks were the highlight of the dives, the divers also came across turtles and eagle rays, as well as humpback whales at the surface.

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