Yesterday afternoon, Department of Fisheries and Manly Sea Life Sanctuary officials gave a 1.8 metre great white a lift out of Sydney Harbour after an event-filled 24 hours for the young shark.

The juvenile white, dubbed "Fluffy" by Sanctuary staff, captured the world's attention when it washed ashore at Manly on Monday morning. Surprised beachgoers had unsuccessfully tried to guide it back out to sea before staff from Manly Sea Life Sanctuary used a sling to transport it to Fairy Bower pool, then later, the sanctuary.

Needless to say, the story captured global attention, in no small part because in the minds of most of the rest of the world, this sort of thing confirms all their beliefs about Australia, where 1.8 metre sharks turn up in ankle-deep water at urban beaches all the time.

While Fluffy had obviously been distressed and was suffering minor injuries, by Tuesday afternoon Sea Life staff determined it was well enough to be released into the wild. They took it four kilometres off Sydney's coastline before letting it go, and have high hopes for its survival.

While nobody has been able to determine why Fluffy beached himself, Sharnie Connell, who belongs to a No Shark Cull group and had jumped into Fairy Bower pool with the shark, told ABC she felt the episode had helped break down misconceptions about sharks.

"These animals are stereotypically thought of as man-eaters and frightening animals that will attack for no reason, and nothing could be further from the truth," Connell says. "At no time did that shark attempt to harm anybody at all even though it was distressed and disorientated."