Pacific Coast Shark News 2017
The following reports for 2017 are provided as a public service. They are intended to inform our visitors of current shark activities along the Pacific Coast of North America. To review Pacific Coast Shark News for 2003 click here, for 2004 click here, for 2005 click here, for 2006 news click here, for 2007 click here, for 2008 click here, for 2009 news click here, for 2010 news click here, for 2011 news click here, for 2012 news click here for 2013 click here for 2014 click here for 2015 click here and for 2016 click here .
NOTICE We have recently experienced some difficutly in reviewing Encounter Reports. For those that have observed a reduction in these accounts please know we have resolved the issue and will be more timely in our posting of these notices as they are received. Until further notice please use the Shark Attack form for all reports. I thank you for your understanding and patience and hope you will continue to send us your encounters, sightings, and observations.
NOTICE SRC Guadalupe Island Expedition, November 28th December 2nd 2017
Following the overwhelming success of the 2015 and 2016 SRC Guadalupe Island Expeditions I have been asked to host a third trip for 2017. This will be my final SRC Expedition to Guadalupe Island with Guests. Our prior expeditions experienced While Sharks that ranged from 12 18+ feet in length providing excellent subjects for our guests to observe, photograph, or film. Expedition member Matt S. provided his impressions of the 2016 Guadalupe trip; I am of course happy to reminisce about our last trip (Matt was also a member of the 2015 SRC Guadalupe Expedition). There were many highlights. All the returnees got to say hello and catch up. We got to meet our new companions, swap stories, watch Jaws, and enjoy the dolphins, blue whale and sunset on the trip out from Ensenada. When we got to the island Brian F. and I psyched each other up to spend as much time as possible in the cages which resulted in 9 10 hours of cage time for me (Brian got more I believe). It was a different trip from last year with a larger number of sharks and a lot of really curious fish (particularly the males). There was not one dive without a shark (or multiple sharks). One of the larger sharks, Bryn Penny' swam by with her accompanying school of pilot fish (something I had never seen before). As Jimmy would say, she's only about 16 feet, but girthy.' Something I would point out is this trip is an adventure, not a sightseeing tour or a vacation. The water can be cool. Many experienced divers in our group skipped rotations due to the cold water (but it is worth noting they are the ones most excited about going back). The payoff is in the experience and the memories. If you go, you are going to do something only a few people in the world get to know about or see. Enjoy it. If you would like to participate in the 2017 Shark Research Committee Guadalupe Expedition please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org for the itinerary and cost. Space is limited so make your reservation today. Don't miss this opportunity to dive with these magnificent Apex Predators; it will be a remarkable adventure that you will remember for a lifetime.
Cardiff State Beach On July 13, 2017 Ryan Johnston was jogging along the shore of Cardiff State Beach, which is located between Solana Beach and Encinitas in Northern San Diego County. The sky was overcast with recorded air and water temperatures of 70 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. A pod of Dolphins were observed about 0.5 miles offshore. Johnston reported;While running along Cardiff State Beach around 7:45pm on July 13th 2017, I noticed a dead seal on the beach with multiple puncture wounds that resembled teeth marks across the side. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Ventura On July 13, 2017 Mike McDonald was on a beach jog at lower Emma Wood State Beach in Ventura. It was about 12:30 PM with air and water temperatures estimated at 72 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. McDonald reported;I was on a run through Emma Wood State Beach and stopped in the open area/rocky beach near the RV parking area closest to the foot bridge. I had previously seen a Dolphin carcass in the area and was pausing to see if it was still there. As I was looking over the water I saw a large shark fully breach and then splash down about 50 60 yards out from shore. I would estimate that the shark was about 10 feet in length. Many types of requiem shark breach, but the large size and coloration make me certain that this was a Great White Shark. I let a few of the campers and bathers know and mentioned it to the ranger at the Emma Wood group camp check-in. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Santa Cruz Local Los Angeles station CBS reported; "A large shark attacked a kayak Tuesday, July 11, 2017, on California's Central Coast, leaving bite marks on the boat, though the kayaker escaped without injury. Police in Santa Cruz investigated and confirmed the attack, then shut down all beach waters within a 1-mile radius for at least four days. The experienced kayaker, Steve Lawson, was paddling past a kelp bed at the city's popular surf spot 'Steamer Lane' when he felt a jolt to his kayak. He looked down and saw what he believes was a Great White Shark. The shark bit the front of the boat and sent Lawson into the water. He used a radio to call for a rescue from the Harbor Patrol, but he had to tread water in terror for a few minutes. 'I spent a little time in the water swimming around. I panicked, everyone panics,' Lawson said. 'There's a shark in the water, but he didn't come back. He wasn't interested in me.' The Harbor Patrol showed up within about 90 seconds. The bottom of the kayak showed shallow cracks and damage from the shark's bite. Santa Cruz Fire Chief Jim Frawley said that shark attacks are extremely rare in Santa Cruz County. The beaches will remain closed through Saturday as a precaution." Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Carpinteria On July 8, 2017 David Orth and a friend were maneuvering jet-ski's off Santa Claus Lane Beach in Carpinteria. No time of day was provided, although they had been on the water one hour. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the mid-80s and 66 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The sky was clear and the ocean calm with a mild-onshore breeze. The ocean floor was sandy and 10 15 feet deep with about 10 feet of water visibility. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Orth reported;When my friend and I arrived near the Santa Clause Lane Beach area, we noticed no one was in the water except for two paddle boarders, a father and young daughter. There was a girl on shore franticly waving at my friend and me. My friend went to shore and the girl was panicked about her father and sister being in the water. Everyone on the beach knew about the sharks but it was unclear if the paddle boarders had seen them. The girl begged my friend to go get them. We went out to their location, about 100 yards offshore, and they told us there were 2 Great White Sharks below them. The little girl was sitting on her board with her feet up. I did not see the shark so I rode out a bit to see if I could find anything. My friend saw the first shark near the paddlers and motioned to me. I returned to the location and as I was turning my ski, I saw the smaller shark as it bumped my ski. I don't think it was an aggressive action on the part of the shark, I actually think it was accidental. The shark continued to swim around us and the paddle boarders but stayed about 2 feet under the surface of the water the entire time. The shark did not seem bothered by the jet skis at all. My friend then escorted the paddlers to shore by circling them and I kept an eye on the shark until they got in. Then my friend and I then continued our ride and about 100 yards West, we saw the second, larger, shark. This shark did not seem scared of the skis and at one point actually swam directly at my friend with the dorsal fin about an inch above the water. My friend turned his ski to get out of the shark's way. The shark did not show any further aggressive action. We watched the sharks swim for a while, following them out to deeper water, then headed back to Seacliff Beach to meet with friends. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Santa Barbara On July 7, 2017 George England was fishing off shore of Leadbetter Beach in Santa Barbara. It was about 3:30 PM under a clear sky and a light breeze with an estimated air temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. There was a minimal swell over water 50 feet deep with an estimated temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area. England reported;While fishing a shark, dark in color and 8 10 feet in length, with its dorsal fin exposed, circled the boat for a least 5 minutes before in left the area. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Monterey Bay On July 2, 2017 Mary Tomlin was long distance paddling an Outrigger Canoe near the red buoy due East of the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey Bay. It was 11:00 Am and she had been on the water about 35 minutes. Air and water temperatures were recorded at 65 and 52 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. There were low clouds and a fog cover with a West 5 10 knot wind. There was a 2 3 foot wind swell accompanied by a North-West 4 6 foot ground swell. Tomlin reported;I paddled from Del Monte State Beach, in Monterey directly to the red bell buoy, approximately 1.5 miles from shore. There were three passenger tour boats and fishing boats heading out toward the open ocean from the Monterey Harbor. Typically, I paddle very fast, but I was pausing to let the large set of wakes mixed with ground swell smooth out. When I reached the bell buoy, I sat for a few moments to assess the situation, because when I noticed there were no sea lions on the bell and it was unusually very quiet 'feel'. Typically there is a heavy presence of mammals; however I immediately noticed there were no sea lions on the bell buoy. This was the first time I've seen it totally abandoned in 20 years. I decided to head back in instead of go further based on that, and when I began to paddle I spotted the fin about 5 8 feet to my right and the shark just was perusing sort of languidly. The fin was charcoal gray/black and I could see the notches on the back side of the triangular shape. Only the tip of the fin was surfacing and was about 1.5 feet high and wide. It sort of rocked from side to side, turned toward me, slipped below surface, surfaced again and did the same thing one more time, very slowly. SO needless to say I gathered myself and paddled directly to shore as fast as I could, and landed in 15 minutes at the Coast Guard Pier. I did not look back, and I have no idea if it followed me, or what was going on with the shark. At the time there were no other small craft like mine out on the water. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Carpinteria On July 1, 2017 Duke Howard reported the following;I was g oing to meet two friends, a father and son, for a SUP (Stand-Up-Paddle) surf at Serena Point. They got a head start on me and caught some waves. By the time I paddled about a third of the way up the cove, they were walking back carrying their boards. I knew what that meant. They saw two separate dorsal fins up at the surf spot. I stopped to talk with them and noticed right out beyond the breakers there were 2 separate dorsal fins cruising the area. There was a undetermined number of Dolphins in the vicinity. I continued paddling up and getting some waves with a friend. He had seen the two sharks the father and son had observed. I didn't see any sharks out during my surf at the time. However, on the way back an 8 foot Great White Shark went by me going the other way, followed shortly thereafter by a 7 foot Great White Shark. When I got to the slough a little further down the beach I saw a fin and people on the beach watching. There were some Dolphins in the vicinity and at that point I paddled in to shore. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Sunset Beach On June 30, 2017 Gerry Wallfesh was surfing Sunset Beach, Pacific Palisades, in Los Angeles County. Wallfesh reported the following;I was sitting on my board, just outside the break, at about 5:50 AM. I saw a shark breach about 50 yards from me. The shark breached and splashed down on its side maybe 100 yards South of the point and approximately 100 yards off shore in the bay. It looked to be maybe 8 feet long, dark torso and a bit girthy.' Surf was approximately 2 feet, with light texture, a little after sunrise. There wasn't much wind at the time. I didn't see any dolphins, sea lions or bait balls today. Later I heard the shark was swimming around the bay and the point as well. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Oceanside On June 28, 2017 Dennis Recker was paddling his 20 foot long 18 inch wide Surfski about 2.5 miles due West of the outer Oceanside Harbor Jetty. It was 11:00 AM and he had been on the water 39 minutes. It was mostly clear with a West-South-Westerly wind at 8 knots and an estimated air temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The ocean had a West-North-Westerly 2 3 foot swell with a light chop and an estimated water temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Water visibility was approximately 25 30 feet. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Recker recalled;I have paddled in this same area for at least 7 years. I normally paddle into the wind for 45 minutes which is predominately Westerly to Northwesterly. My boat speed is generally 5.5 to 6 knots. I was 39 minutes from the dock paddling West when I saw a dorsal fin approximately 15 feet from my starboard bow. The shark slowly submerged, I kept paddling my same course and speed, and the shark went under my boat and tilted to his side to look up at me. My guess is he/she was at a depth of 10 feet. I guessed the Great White Shark was 6 to 8 feet in length, but as I thought about this on the paddle in, I was amazed at its girth. It almost looked bloated. After passing over the shark I began a slow turn back to shore maintaining roughly the same speed on a reciprocal course. Balancing my boat while looking around is difficult, but I scanned as best I could and never saw the shark again. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Carpinteria On June 27, 2017 Duke Howard reported the following;Almost the same scenario as yesterday. At about 3:15 PM I was paddling up Serena Cove near the area where the slough comes out. I observed a small pod of Dolphins, 2 adults and 2 juveniles, about 60 yards up the cove coming towards me from the other direction. When I looked to my left I saw a 6 7 foot Great White Shark going by me from the other direction, off to my left and only about 10 yards away. It showed no interest in me. A little further up in the cove a Great White Shark was 10 15 yards from me with its dorsal fin above the surface of the water. As the pod of Dolphins approached they showed no interest in the shark or me as they swam past. The shark continued to swim at the surface for a few minutes then disappeared. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Carpinteria On June 26, 2017 Duke Howard reported the following;At about 3:15 PM today I was alone paddling West up the Serena Bay shoreline. I was 30 40 yards from shore about 0.25 miles from the surfing point. It was sunny with a mild 5 knot breeze and about 6 feet of water visibility. A pod of Dolphins, about 12 adults and 4 young, passed me during my paddle up the coast. A few minutes after I had passed the Dolphins there was a big splash' off my port bow, maybe 2 or 3 beach houses away. I waited to see if a Pelican or Dolphin would pop up but none did. I changed direction more toward shore half expecting something to come and check me out any second. Sure enough, a juvenile Great White Shark, about 6 feet in length, came close to my starboard bow then proceeded down the coast. On my way back I saw the same pod of Dolphins heading back up the coast. To my right, just ahead of the Dolphins, I saw a shark's dorsal fin coming towards me about 5 10 yards away. It passed without any interest in me this time and appeared to be the same shark I had seen earlier. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Santa Barbara On June 26, 2017 Peter C. Howorth, Santa Barbara Marine Mammal Center, was informed of the following; A Great White Shark, about 13 feet in length, was observed feeding on a Dolphin by a number of individuals sailing off East Beach near Stearns Wharf. This prompted the authorities to post East Beach with no ocean water activity signs. If there is no further shark activity the beaches will open at noon on Thursday. A smaller juvenile Great White Shark was observed off Carpinteria Beach earlier the same day Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Carpinteria On June 25, 2017 Blake Donen and his companion were exploring on their Seadoos Jetski's about 0.5 miles West of Carpinteria State Beach. It was 2:30 PM and they had been on the water about 3 hours. Air and water temperatures were recorded at 72 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The sky was clear with 1 2 foot waves and about 6 feet of water visibility. A pod of Dolphins were observed earlier in their trip. Donen reported;My friend and I, being fascinated with marine life, and sharks in particular, decided to go out looking for sharks. We had been riding up the coast, starting in Ventura Harbor and all the way up to Summerland on our Seadoos. In the morning we didn't see much more than a few pods of Dolphins but on our way back we saw a few dark shadows in the water so we decided to hang out a while to see what we could see, staying on the Seadoos. We saw several sharks, about 0.5 miles above Oxnard City Beach and about 150 300 feet from shore. The sharks ranged in size from 5 9 feet. They didn't seem interested in us, I would assume because they could hear the engines of the Seadoos. There were a couple of young kids on their bogey boards about 0.25 miles down from us so we let them know to keep an eye out. After observing them for almost 45 minutes we left the area. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Carpinteria On June 21, 2017 Duke Howard reported the following;At about 2:15 PM, under a sunny sky, I was SUP paddling West toward Serena Point. I was 30 40 yards offshore with the estimated water temperature at about 64 degrees Fahrenheit and the wind about 10 knots. I saw a 7 8 foot Great White Shark, 3 4 feet below the surface traveling Southeast 4 5 feet from me. Water visibility was fairly clear when I observed the shark which seemed to be checking me out. At Serena Point, I was paddling out through the waves when I saw a 6 7 foot Great White Shark, which might have been the same one I observed on June 4 and again this past Monday and Tuesday. I heard, and then saw, a splash and the tail of the shark as in my previous encounter. It was probably another 30 yards away from me and my companion. We exited the water without incident. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Carpinteria On June 20, 2017 Duke Howard reported the following encounters from Serena Point located North of Carpinteria; I have been s urfing and swimming in Serena Bay for over 50 years. Until a year and a half ago, there were no known shark encounters by those using this area for the ocean recreation. However, I have experienced 17encounters in the last 18 months with 6 of those this year since the sharks returned in the Spring. They are mostly juvenile Great White Sharks 6 8 feet in length, with one shark about 10 feet. No aggressive behaviors until recently. I was Stand-Up-Paddleboard surfing with my friend Tisha Ford at Serena Point on June 4. I noticed a dorsal fin about 10 yards further out of the lineup than our location. Then she saw it a few times before it seemed to move on. A little while later she saw it once again and we decided to paddle in. On the way in it was now between us and the shore. Suddenly it whipped its tail aggressively and headed straight for us. It went right by like a torpedo that just missed its target. It was a good 6 7 feet in length, maybe more. It caused no damage, but did make us rethink our surf/shark strategies. Then on June 19 at about 8:30 AM I saw the dorsal fin and tail of what appeared to be a Great White Shark of the same size previously observed. I was SUP surfing 30 yards offshore and the shark was probably 15 20 yards further out. There was a marine layer blocking the sun with a water temperature estimated at 64 degrees Fahrenheit. My companion and I exited without any incident. On June 20, at about 2:45 PM, under a sunny sky with a light breeze we had a similar experience with what could be the same shark, 6 8 feet in length. We exited the water when we saw it. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
San Onofre State Beach On June 17, 2017 Clay Carrier was Stand-Up-Paddle surfing Dogpatch' at San Onofre State Beach. It was 12:00 PM and he had been on the water about 20 minutes. The sky was clear with an estimated air temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The ocean was flat with visibility about 8 feet and an estimated temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The ocean floor was rocky with a water depth from 6 20 feet. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Carrier reported;I had just ridden a wave in and was paddling back out when the shark appeared directly underneath my SUP in about 6 feet of water. I had to stop paddling in order to avoid hitting the shark on the head. The shark calmly paralleled me at the surface, staying within three feet of my board while I paddled back out. Multiple times I could've touched its dorsal fin with my hand. It stayed with me for at least 75 yards, curiously checking me out. It was a Great White Shark about 10 feet in length. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Carpinteria On June 16, 2017 Debbie Sukiasian and four companions were onboard a 37-foot catamaran off Padaro Beach, located North of Carpinteria between Santa Claus Beach and Serena Point. It was about 1:30 and the sky was clear with an estimated air temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit. The ocean was calm over a sandy bottom about 20 feet deep with an estimated water temperature of 62 degrees Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Sukasian recalled;We had traveled up to Serena Point for a look at the waves. We then started heading South back toward Santa Claus Beach. After about 10 minutes we saw the shark about 200 feet from shore on Padaro Beach. It circled around the boat and we watched it for around 10 minutes. The shark was gray with a white belly and about 8 feet in length. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Carpinteria On June 15, 2017 Kay Matthews was Stand-Up-Paddleboarding near Serena Surf at Padaro Beach, located North of Carpinteria. Her board has a dark blue and black bottom with yellow rails and is 8 feet 5 inches in length. It was 12:00 PM and she had only been on the water about 10 minutes. The sky was clear with an estimated air temperature in the 80s Fahrenheit. The ocean was glassy with small surf over a bottom 20 or more feet deep. Water visibility was clear to murky with an estimated temperature of 62 degrees Fahrenheit. No marine mammals or large dominant algae were observed in the area. Matthews reported;I paddled out from Santa Claus Beach towards Serena Point to go surfing. I was half way to Serena and over my left shoulder looking back I saw a 5 6 foot shark approaching me about 20 feet away when it veered off. I continued to paddle to Serena and caught some waves. I was the only one out. I took one wave in and fell off my board. Once I was back on my board I saw the same size shark in the wave in front of me, approximately 15 feet away. I decided to paddle back since this shark seemed to be interested in me. I continued to look behind me occasionally on my paddle back to the beach. When I looked back at one point I saw the same size shark approaching me again from behind but when I said Seriously?' out loud it took off. I wasn't too far from shore just outside the surf line. I turned to look ahead when at about my 11:00 position I saw a much larger shark, 16 20 feet in length, twice the size of my board's width and length. It appeared from what seemed like the bottom and moved passed me very stealth like, definitely in slow motion. As it passed by it disappeared behind me. I had 2/3 of the way left to get back to Santa Claus Beach so I continued to paddle back close to shore while looking back occasionally. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Half Moon Bay On June 14, 2017 Zach Zarcone and Vincent Tam were observing the surf conditions at Poplar Beach in Half Moon Bay. It was 6:50 AM with a partly sunny sky and an estimated air temperature of 57 degrees Fahrenheit. The ocean was glassy with some texture from a wind swell and waist to shoulder high surf over a sandy ocean bottom 10 feet deep with 3 5 feet of water visibility and an estimated temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Zarcone reported;We were checking the surf from the bluff just South of what appeared to be a predation. We noticed a disturbance just beyond the surf zone, about 75 yards from shore. My initial assumption was that it was a seal playing or feeding on something. When the animal resurfaced it thrashed its tail violently which is when I noticed the dorsal fin as well. It appeared to be preying upon something, however the food source was never observed. Seagulls were in the area and appeared to be feeding. The shark surfaced several times over the course of 5 7 minutes thrashing just above the surface then submerging. It was 7 8 feet in length and dark grey. Only the dorsal and tail fins were observed during this event. I believe the shark was a juvenile Great White Shark. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Ventura On June 11, 2017 California State Lifeguards posted a 24 hour advisory along Ventura Promenade Beach after the sighting of a juvenile Great White Shark, 6 8 feet in length, swimming near the pier. The shark did not exhibit any aggressive behavior so only an advisory was posted. Tyson Butzke, Ventura Sector Supervisor, California State Parks, said; "It's just an advisory, which means you enter the water at your own risk." Had the shark been aggressively moving through the area further action would have been taken by the California State Parks, which oversees the State Lifeguards. John Higgins, Harbormaster for Ventura Harbor District, said shark sightings along the Ventura County coast had increased in the past two or so years. The advisory was removed on Monday, June 12th . Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Santa Barbara On June 10, 2017 Peter Howorth published the following in the Santa Barbara News Press;Thursday evening, (June 8th) a 10 to 12-foot Great White Shark was seen by people in a two person kayak off the Santa Barbara Harbor entrance. The people have not been identified as yet. The shark was 'fat,' large, and dark gray on its dorsal side. It was not behaving aggressively. It hovered under the kayak between Stearn's Wharf and the sandspit. Harbor patrol officers posted signs warning that a shark was present. Since no aggression was displayed, the signs will only remain in place for 24 hours. If it had been aggressive, or a seal or person had been attacked, the signs would have been displayed for 72 hours. Water temperature was 67 degrees off nearby Leadbetter Beach Thursday. The water was clear enough to see the bottom in shallow water. Tim Tremblay, a financial advisor, had been advised only a few days ago by a local commercial fisherman, who prefers to remain anonymous, not to go swimming. The fisherman apparently has been seeing lots of great whites in our waters. Last week at Vandenberg Air Force Base, an adult California sea lion was attacked by a shark and managed to make it ashore, where it succumbed to its wounds. Reportedly another pinniped had been attacked a week earlier, but no details were available. Many sightings, encounters, and attacks have been reported in past years. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Ventura On June 8, 2017 Dave Parsa reported the following;A friend, Bart Williams, and I were surfing at Solimar Beach in the afternoon of Thursday, June 8th. We are lifelong Ventura residents, surfing Ventura County for over 30 years. Shortly after we had finished surfing Bart told me he had seen what looked like a dorsal fin of a shark. We had already heard of recent Great White Shark sightings at Solimar Beach and while walking back to our cars we passed a dolphin carcass that we had observed before our surfing session while walking to the ocean. However, this time we took a closer look. We saw what appeared to be a fairly large shark bite (gouge) located mid to lower part of the dolphin's torso. A Great White Shark was observed 4 days later near the Ventura Pier. Solimar Beach is 3 4 miles North of the Ventura Pier. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Bolsa Chica State Beach On June 3, 2017 Lance Wallick was surfing 50 yards from shore in front of the main tower headquarters of the Lifeguards at Bolsa Chica State Beach in Huntington Beach. It was about 11:00 AM and he had been on the water 2 hours. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 64 and 62 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively with a marine layer overcast. The ocean was glassy over a sandy bottom 8 feet deep with like water visibility. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Wallick reported;There was a small, but fun combo swell, around two to four feet. I found the least crowded spot for a Saturday morning in Huntington. There were other surfers up and down the beach. I had been waiting about ten minutes to catch a set wave in, when a dark object approached me head on in the water. The hair on the back of my neck definitely stood on end. As it got closer, about six feet in front of me just below the surface, I could clearly make out what it was. It appeared to just hover for a few seconds, then turned right and swam off. It was dark grey on top with a white belly. It had a triangular dorsal fin and a vertical caudal fin. It wasn't aggressive; it just appeared to be checking me out. I turned around and caught a small wave in. I reported it to a lifeguard and he said they would post warning signs. He said several sightings have recently been reported in the same area. I've been surfing for twenty years, studied marine biology and oceanography. It wasn't a dolphin; it was a (roughly) 6 foot juvenile White Shark. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
San Onofre State Beach On June 1, 2017 Alex Fernandez was surfing 50 yards from shore at Upper Trestles, San Onofre State Beach. It was about 12:00 PM and he had been on the water about 3 hours. It was foggy with a light onshore breeze and an estimated air temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The ocean was calm over a cobble stone/sandy bottom 20 feet deep with 4 feet of visibility and an estimated temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Fernandez recalled;I was seating on my surf board waiting for a wave set. A chest high wave approached, and just before the wave crested the shark moved sideways just behind the wave and disappeared. It was 5 6 feet in length, grey on top and white on the bottom with a large girth. I alerted a surfer that was about 50 yards to my right but the surfer continued to surf. I stayed in knee deep water for 10 minutes and went back out to surf since the shark was just passing by. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Vandenberg Air Force Base On May30, 2017 Vincent Culliver reported the following; "A group of dive club members have been camping at the Boat House', Vandenberg Air Force Base, over the Memorial Day weekend. They reported a pinniped barking and making a lot of noise starting about 4:00 AM this morning. In the light of day they saw it injured and bleeding on the rocks. Apparently one of the members of the dive group called a warden or park ranger. The warden came out and approached the animal to try and ascertain its status and the type of injury. He was also trying to contact the marine mammal rescue group according to somebody in the crowd (not verified though). The warden said it appeared to be a possible shark attack on the seal and told his superiors. Supposedly this information went up the chain of command and it came down from the commander to start a mandatory 72 hour closure as a precaution. Someone in the crowd said they saw a dead seal last week with a massive bite out of it (again not confirmed or verified with any pictures or evidence). We were all asked to pack up and leave. The seal was still alive but bleeding when we left. The warden had taken photographs of the pinniped's injuries for assessment later. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
San Onofre State Beach On May 21, 2017 Daniel Powers reported the following;Just an FYI. We had a shark breach today between Uppers and Cottons. About 30 or so guys bailed ASAP. Later that day we were notified that we had a large shark in the surf zone at Cottons around 2:30 PM. Lifeguards came twice to warn us at Cottons. Second warning sounded like a woman panicking. So we left and surfed Uppers. All I saw there was a cute little leopard shark Happy Sunday. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Capistrano State Beach On May 19, 2017 Lisa Restivo reported the following;I wanted to report a shark breach sighting at Capistrano State Beach, California at about 11:00 AM today and 200 yards off shore. It looked to me and my husband like a Great White Shark. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Ventura On May 18, 2017 Bartt Bramwell was surfing 100 yards North of the Ventura River. It was 7:20 AM and he had been on the water about 50 minutes. The sky was clear with an estimated air temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit. There was s houlder high North-West wind swell with light offshore winds. The ocean floor was cobblestone with patches of sand and 6 8 feet deep. The estimated water temperature was 57 degrees Fahrenheit with underwater visibility about 4 feet. There were a large number of birds (species unknown) on the beach and near the river. Bramwell reported;I was sitting motionless on my surfboard for a couple of minutes. I observed just beyond the surf line, a small Great White Shark, approximately 5 feet long with a dark grey back, swimming slowly and calmly with a side to side motion heading North. The sharks dorsal fin and tail fin were protruding out of the water. The shark showed absolutely no interest in me and I did not feel threatened. However, I did exit the water and did not see the shark again. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Monterey Bay "UPDATE" On March 18, 2017 Brian Correiar was kayaking in Monterey Bay a little past 4:30 PM when a white shark struck his kayak ejecting him into the ocean. Please see his narrative below. He is the yellow object to the left of the kayak in this video. Brian sent me the following; "Ralph, A YouTube video of my shark encounter was posted. It starts 5 10 minutes after I was hit. I believe this will help determine the size of the shark. My kayak was 14 feet 2 inches." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQQZifTGY1Q&app=desktop
Long Beach On May 10, 2017 Laylan Connelly of the Orange Country Register and Sandy Mazza of the Daily Breeze reported in the Long Beach Press Telegram that at least 10 juvenile Great White Sharks were observed in the near shore waters in Long Beach only a few yards from the shore. I should mention that my friend and colleague Keith Poe of Shark Tagger has observed a considerable amount of fish, bird, and marine mammal activity in this area, and several other areas as well. This could be attracting the sharks close inshore to take advantage of these prey species. http://www.presstelegram.com/environment-and-nature/20170510/at-least-10-great-white-sharks-spotted-off-long-beach-coast
San Onofre State Beach On May 6, 2017 David Woodward was surfing 100 yards from shore at Trail 5, San Onofre State Beach. It was 11:00 AM and he had been on the water about 15 minutes. The sky was clear with an estimated air temperature of 62 degrees Fahrenheit. The ocean was calm with an estimated water temperature of 61 degrees Fahrenheit and a depth 5 6 feet. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Woodward recalled;I was surfing at Trail 5. It was a small surf day and the day after a little bit of rain. I was the only one out. I had only been out a short while and was waiting for my second wave when I saw the shark swimming South to North in the wave in front of me. It was about 10 feet away when I first saw it. It's the fifth Juvenile Great White I've seen while surfing at the Trails over the last couple of years and there has been approximately 5 other times that someone nearby has seen one and mentioned it as they vacated the water. The other ones I've seen have been totally indifferent to my presence. This one turned abruptly in my direction just as it was passing the front of my board. I didn't really see it after that because I instinctively back paddled my board away from the shark then spun it around to paddle in. By that time, the shark was again swimming in its South to North course. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
San Onofre State Beach On May 3, 2017 Marcus Sanders at Surfline.com posted two videos from Lower Trestles, San Onofre State Beach, showing a white shark breaching a little north of a group of surfers. The first video was taken on May 2 at Lower Trestles https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWZlQPzYlw0 .
The second video was take on May 3 at Lower Trestles https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aokBKwPO_LU . Comparing the size of the shark in both videos with the surfers in the foreground, and considering the shark's distance from the camera and surfers, it appears to be about 9 or 10 feet in length. The shark appears to breach in the same general area in both videos. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
San Onofre State Beach On April 30, 2017 Mark Hurlock, his brother Greg, and Richard Fisher were surfing 100 yards from shore at Upper Trestles, San Onofre State Beach. It was 6:33 AM and they had been on the water 60 80 minutes. Air and water temperatures were recorded at 60 and 63 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The sky was clear with a brisk offshore breeze. The surf was 3 4 feet with a water depth of 5 7 feet and a cobble rocky ocean floor. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Hurlock reported;Greg, Richard and I were sitting in the water waiting for a wave, when I saw the shark swimming out to sea, about 15 20 feet away from us. I alerted my brother and friend to the shark's presence. They immediately started paddling towards shore. I also paddled towards shore. My friend Richard said that the shark turned and was less than 6 feet behind my brother as we started paddling away. The shark can be seen on the Surfline rewind footage: April 30, 6:30 am rewind. At 3:00 minutes to 3:04, you can see the shark right behind us after we started paddling towards shore. Difficult to see the shark due to the distance https://youtu.be/Nkf6xE1WMCQ . Thanks to Marcus Sanders and Surfline.com for providing the video. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
San Onofre State Beach On April 29, 2017 Orange County Register journalist Laylan Connelly reported the following;A woman was attacked by a shark off San Onofre State Beach Saturday afternoon, the second attack in one year off local waters. Four women were in the water at a surf spot called Church,' north of the San Onofre surf beach and in front of Camp Pendleton campgrounds, said state park aide Travis Lara. Two women were on surfboards, and the two other females were swimming nearby in the surf line up. The beach, popular with Orange County surfers, is in northern San Diego County. One of the women, who was wearing swim fins and wading in the water, was bit on her glute and down her thigh,' Lara said. Two surfers pulled her out of the water and a person on the beach used a surf leash on her upper thigh to stop the bleeding. The incident happened late afternoon. Lara didn't know if the women's injuries were life threatening or where she was being treated. It was also unclear what kind of shark attacked the woman and what size it was. He said the beach was likely going to be closed for at least 72 hours. There have been two videos that have surfaced lately of sharks breaching out of the water near surfers, one at Lower Trestles and another at Upper Trestles, both just north of the attack site. Additional information will be posted as it becomes available. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Pacific Beach On April 10, 2017 Roxanne Vettese was surfing at Tourmaline Surf Park just south of Life Guard Tower 28 at the Northern end of Pacific Beach, located a short distance South of where the sand beach ends and the rocky promontory of La Jolla begins. It was 12:30 PM and she had been on the water less than 5 minutes. The sky was clear with a brisk West-North-West breeze at about 10 knots and an estimated air temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The ocean had 3 4 foot swells at 13 seconds over a sandy/cobble bottom 15 20 feet deep with an estimated water temperature of 62 degrees Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area. No large kelp plants were observed although a significant amount of sea grass was suspended in the water column. Vettese reported;I was paddling out through the shore break and had just made it past the breakers and into calm water when the shark surfaced about 3 feet away from the front of my surfboard. It was swimming South. It was not agitated or aggressive. It stayed on the surface for maybe 5 seconds and then sank beneath the surface. That is when I got a good look at the tail as it swam away from shore, still heading South. The shark was 5 6 feet in length, stocky, not sleek, broad, triangular dorsal fin with a ragged trailing edge, about 8 inches in height. It had a proportional tail that I saw under the water, vertical, close to the same length on top as on the bottom. The shark was bluish to gray brown in color. I thought I saw flashes of white on the underside as it swam away. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Oxnard Shores On April 7, 2017 Adam McKillican was surfing about 70 yards from the beach at Oxnard Shores in front of Neptune Square Park. It was 11:00 AM and he had been on the water about 15 minutes. There was a light overcast with a mild south breeze and an estimated air temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The ocean was calm with the sandy bottom 15 20 from the surface and an estimated water temperature of 56 degrees Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area. McKillican reported;I was surfing alone in front of my apartment. I was the only person in the water. The surf was head high to slightly over head. I paddled back out after catching a wave and my foot was sliding around on the wax. Once I got back outside I got off my board and made lines in my wax to make it have better grip. I climbed back on my board when I looked out to see if any waves were coming when I saw a shark fin about 12 feet away from me swimming very slowly south. The fin was about 10 inches high and no tail fin showed. The shark slowly came to a stop and then just dropped under the surface. I could see the shadow and it looked to be about 10 feet in length. The shark stayed in that position for a second or two, and then turned toward me. It began to swim directly at me picking up speed. I immediately turned and caught a wave,(thank God). I never looked back and if it were not for the wave at that time I can only speculate what that shark was intending in doing. I have swum with sharks many times in my life, I am a free diver and have encountered sharks many times over my life. I know a shark that is just looking at you and checking you out. This one had a completely different energy to it and I am sure it was at least going to taste me to see if I was edible. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Monterey Bay On March 18, 2017 Brian Correiar was kayaking in Monterey Bay a little past 4:30PM. He recalled;I had paddled from the Breakwater ramp to Shell Street in Pacific Grove and was on my way back. I was hit off the end of San Carlos Beach about 100 yards or so off the Monterey Bay Inn - probably over Metridium. Suddenly, I heard a loud bang as my kayak and I flew into the air. I landed outside my boat, look back to my horror saw a large great white shark no more than three feet away had my kayak in its mouth. I could clearly see its 2-inch teeth and its black eye that looked lifeless. I scrambled away from my boat as fast as I could and started kicking towards shore. After five minutes I pulled out my Nautilus Lifeline and called in a mayday to the coast guard. They were having trouble hearing me. I spotted a sail boat and started frantically waving to them with my right arm as I operated the radio with my left hand. While this was going on, the shark was using my boat as a chew toy. I saw it spin with the boat at least three times. It started pushing the boat towards me and then left the boat and headed for me. Suddenly it dove. I put my face in the water to see if it was under me, but I couldn't see anything. I looked up and saw the sail boat approaching me. After some very quick explanations I said that I needed to get into the small boat. There was no ladder or transom. I had been in the water for about twenty minutes. I was wearing a 3-mil, but had forgotten my booties and my feet were numb and I was running on nothing but adrenaline. I could not get up into the boat or stand up on their motor. I asked them to call 911 and ask for coast guard assistance. The coast guard showed up 5 minutes later and pulled me into their boat. All my gear was floating and was recovered. They took me back to the Breakwater. According to witnesses the shark was as big as my boat, which is 14 feet in length. Bite marks show that it had the whole girth of the boat in its mouth. My boat is covered with bite marks from end to end with multiple punctures. People told me that they could see the shark slapping the surface of the water with its fins as it mauled my boat. 'Interspace measurements of the tooth impressions to the kayak are representative of a Great White Shark 17 18 feet in length. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Ventura On March 12, 2017 Chad Stratton and Natascha Novobilski were kayaking near California Street, also referred to as C Street or Ventura Point, in Ventura. It was about 3:30 PM with the morning fog just beginning to lift. Stratton recalled;I think it was almost low-tide when we paddled in' directly in front of the lagoon. We were out to ride waves, which were running 2 3 feet. After 45 minutes of epic fun my friend paddled to shore. I went in to ask what was wrong. She said she felt off. I said, I'll go first. Just follow me.' I was 60 yards out when I spotted a dorsal fin. At first I thought it was a dolphin. I estimate that it was 20 yards in front of me and in-between swells. As I slowly moved a little closer I saw the tail fin and then the adrenalin kicked in. No indication of a blow hole. No characteristic hooked dorsal that a dolphin has. The dorsal was around 1foot high. It was too foggy and murky to identify the species. I turned around and caught the first wave I could. Natascha witnessed the entire event. We packed up and went to the Barrlehouse. Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
San Onofre State Beach On March 11, 2017 Jack Webster was surfing Trail 3 at San Onofre State Beach. It was about 10:15 AM and he had been on the water about 5 minutes. There was a rapidly clearing fog with the wind out of the West at 3 knots. Air and water temperatures were recorded at 65 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The ocean was calm over a sandy ocean bottom with scattered rocks and a depth of 6 8 feet with comparable water visibility. No large dominant algae or marine mammals were present in the area. Webster reported;I paddled out about 50 yards off shore, and sat waiting for my first wave. There was an object in the water about 250 yards South of my position that may have been a seal or sea lion carcass. After about 5 minutes a dorsal fin, about 1.5 feet high, popped up approximately 10 feet in front of my board. The fin tracked slowly in the water and moved South to North and did not submerge. I turned and paddled back to shore, and told another surfer on the beach that there was a shark in the water. There was one other person in the water at the time, and they paddled in as well and said they had seen the shark as well. We waited about 15 minutes and did not see the shark again and decided to paddle back out. For the next 30 minutes, I continued to surf until I saw the shadow of a shark in the trough of a wave that was beginning to form. It was oriented to the North and was moving very slowly to the North. The shadow of the shark was very clear against the sandy bottom of the ocean floor and the sun at my back. The fish appeared to be 8 10 feet in length and was undoubtedly a great white shark based on its shape and pectoral fins. I paddled in and got out of the water after the second encounter. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Huntington Beach On February 22, 2017 Orange County Register journalist Lelan Connelly reported the following; "The species is illegal to catch, so when an angler unknowingly reeled a 500-pound, eight-foot-long Great White Shark onto the shore at Sunset Beach about 2 p.m. Tuesday, February 21st, there was no choice but to get it back in the water.They didn't want to get bit, obviously,' said Huntington Beach Marine Safety Officer Michael Bartlett, who was patrolling the area and approached just as five men were pushing the shark back into the sea. This was the latest in a series of Great White incidents in recent weeks. A week ago a shark was hooked from the Huntington Beach Pier but freed when the line broke. The area was put under a 24-hour advisory. There were no closures. While most fishermen catch perch and other small-shore fish from the beach, these anglers were going after bigger catch. In this area, near Warner Avenue bordering Bolsa Chica State Beach, there's a big trench in the water at the shoreline about eight feet deep. The anglers said they were looking for thresher sharks. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Del Mar On February 21, 2017 Rich Campbell was surfing Del Mar Beach at the 8th Street Reef break. It was 10:15 AM and he had been on the water about 20 minutes. The sky was clear with a very light breeze and an estimated air temperature of 67 degrees Fahrenheit. The ocean was smooth with a light surface texture and waves 4 5 feet with a larger set from time to time. Water visibility was poor with an estimated temperature of 59 degrees Fahrenheit and a depth of about 10 feet. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Campbell reported;I had just paddled out to the lineup, and was waiting for a set. While looking out to sea I saw a shark surface about 50 yards outside of surf zone. It rolled to expose its white belly then submerged. I immediately noticed the claspers, black back and white belly. I didn't see the mouth or tail, but shark appeared to be at least 3 feet wide and the portion of the body I saw was at least 8 feet long. I've been surfing over 30 years, and am 100 percent confident this was a White Shark. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Del Mar On February 8, 2017 Eric Brye was surfing at 18th Street Beach in Del Mar. It was 1:50 PM and he had been on the water about 40 minutes. There was a heavy fog that limited visibility to about 100 yards and kept the air temperature at a mild 68 degrees Fahrenheit with a mild breeze. The ocean was calm with 2 3 foot surf at a estimated low tide of -1.2 feet and extremely poor water visibility of only 1 2 feet. The water was about 6 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom with scattered kelps from a recent storm floating in the surf zone. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Brye reported;I had paddled out to the outer break sandbar 3 or 4 times in the previous 40 minutes. On my last trip out I had just passed the outer break when I saw the fin break the surface approximately 50 feet away, Southwest of my position. The fin rose out of the water completely, showing the full height of 2 2.5 feet and a portion of the back in front and behind the dorsal fin as it slowly submerged. I observed the fin for about 5 seconds or so. The shark was traveling North, along the outer sandbar and did not seem to notice my presence. Due to poor water visibility I could not see the shark after the fin submerged, and promptly paddled smoothly in to shore. No whales, dolphins or seals were seen in the previous 40 minutes and no other surfers were visible. The fin was a dark grey, triangular in shape and 2 2.5 feet in height. It was slightly curved backwards at the tip and fairly straight down in the back, with ragged edges on the back. The shark was swimming just seaward of the outermost sandbar, South to North, approximately 50 feet from me. Fin rose out completely out of the water smoothly, exposing some of the shark's back then slowly submerged. The shark was not swimming towards me, I was ~30 feet inshore of its position, and it was swimming parallel to the shore. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
San Onofre State Beach On January 8, 2017 Mark Wolff was surfing Trail 1 at San Onofre State Beach. It was about 3:30 PM and he had been on the water 2 hours. Water and air temperatures were estimated at 58 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit respectively. The sky was clear with a few high scattered clouds with almost an undetectable breeze. The ocean was smooth and glassy with occasional 2 foot waves in sets of 2 over a bottom of sand and rock. Water visibility was 4 5 feet with the depth about 6 feet. Wolff reported;I was sitting on outer edge of the surf break zone waiting for a wave when I observed slight turbulence on the water surface approximately 15 feet due seaward of my position. I occasionally saw approximately 1 2 inches of a dorsal fin above the water surface; approximately the same amount of caudal fin was also visible, but with less frequency. The distance between the dorsal and caudal fin was approximately 4 feet. Shark sightings are common here, so I sat calmly and watched, but sun glare on the water prevented me from seeing anything below the surface. The shark swam in slow, lazy circles beyond the break for several minutes. At one point the shark turned and swam slowly and directly toward me. As calmly as I could, I paddled toward the beach. When I reached a water depth of approximately 2 feet, I turned to look for the shark and briefly observed about 1 inch of dorsal fin approximately 15 feet Southwest of my original position. I continued to watch the water for several minutes, but did not see the shark again. I left the water a few minutes later. Please report any shark encounter, sighting, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.