The water wasn’t toxic and its red color was given by the abundance of red algae. This is highly uncommon for Bondi Bay and for Clovelly Beach but not unheard of. Besides the fact that the algae brought a fishy smell the red water can also irritate people’s skin. Warnings were issued against entering the water because of its high ammonia levels but some people didn’t listen and went for a swim anyway.
Bondi Beach was reopened later this afternoon after the algal bloom dissipated off. Similar outbreaks were reported on the NSW Central Coast, at Gordons Bay and in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. Authorities have all the reasons to worry. Although this algal bloom was not toxic, last Friday the water from Botany Bay was contaminated after a toxic algae outbreak.