About the Shark Research Committee


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Pacific Coast
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Sharks of the Pacific Coast

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Distribution and Diet of Pacific Coast White Sharks

Predatory Behavior of Pacific Coast White Sharks

Shark/Human Interactions Along the Pacific Coast

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Shark Attack
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Fatal Pacific Coast Shark Attacks
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Shark Attacks Along the Pacific Coast - 2000 —

Shark Attacks Along the Pacific Coast - 1990s

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Pacific Coast Shark News 2009

Sunset Beach  —   On December 29, 2009 Kario Salem reported the following to Scott at SunsetSurf.com; “ On December 29th, a paddle boarder followed an 8 to 9 foot Great White Shark swimming just off the peak. Its fin never broke the surface, but it freaked me out as I was sitting no more than 20 yards away. Other local Sunset tribesmen and women seemed amused and unconcerned. I paddled in a few minutes later because the surf was lousy. We're all nuts. Aloha...” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Marina Del Rey  —   On December 21, 2009 William Hogan reported the following; “Last night (December 21, 2009) I was out sailing at dusk, when a shark, I'd estimate at 10 foot, jumped straight up out of the water in the middle of a bunch of pelicans resting on the surface about 1 mile West of the North Marina Del Rey Jetty. It looked to me like it was trying to eat one of them. The shark got completely out of the water, and stood on its tail for a moment before slipping back into the water and disappearing. It had a white belly. Amazing.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee

 

Huntington Beach  —   On December 21, 2009 Jeff Neubauer was surfing at Huntington Beach near Magnolia Street. It was 4:30 PM and he had been on the water about 20 minutes. The sky was overcast with a 10 knot South wind. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 62 and 58 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. Water visibility was 3 feet with the depth about 12 feet. There was a ‘light bump' to the surf. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Neubauer reported; “I first saw a dorsal fin, which I thought might be a dolphin but it appeared to be a little more triangle-ish. Then I saw the tip of its tail come out of the water and that's when I knew for sure it was a shark. It was about 50 yards away just beyond the break water. It was traveling South at a slow pace towards the river jetties. I couldn't really make out a color because it was overcast. There were a few birds floating but the shark was not aggressive in any way. I would guess the shark was approx 12 feet long, possibly bigger.” Pleases report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Pacific City, OR  —   On December 13, 2009 Ammon Bonham was surfing at Pacific City, Oregon. It was 3:00 PM and he had been on the water about 2.5 hours. It was sunny with the temperature estimated, below 32 degrees Fahrenheit and a 10 knot offshore wind. The ocean was glassy with “10' faces on the surf during sets” and an estimated temperature of 51 degrees Fahrenheit. The water was 10 – 15 feet deep with similar visibility. Several dolphins were observed in the surf zone prior to his entering the water. Bonham reported; “I had previously been surfing among a group of 7 other surfers next to the cape. I caught a wave and the current placed me several hundred yards South of the cape before I could get back out. There I decided to surf in front of the Brewery by myself. While waiting for a set I was intrigued by the clarity of the water and was looking at the sea bottom when I saw a large figure 15' in length and 3' deep in front of me. I recognized it as a White Shark about the time its dorsal fin came near my foot. From there I thought it pragmatic to paddle back to shore and didn't see it from then on.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Ocean Beach  —   On December 8, 2009 Daniel Swindells and his father, John, were kayaking in the San Diego River Channel, near Dog/Ocean Beach, San Diego. It was 2:00 PM and they had been on the water about 30 minutes. The ocean was calm with scattered clouds and a cool air temperature. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Daniel recalled; “We were kayaking about 100 feet the edge of the channel and 250 feet from the end of the jetty. We saw two fins surface about 20 yards from our position. They were black, as was the back of the animal, with the larger dorsal fin about 12 inches and the smaller trailing fin about 5 inches in height. The fins were 3 – 4 feet apart. We watched the animal swim in a circle while at the surface and then it would submerge. It repeated this 7 or 8 times over a period of 5 minutes, then it disappeared.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On November 28, 2009 Peter K. was surfing 75 yards from shore at the Point, Sunset Beach, located near the end of the parking lot at Gladstone's Restaurant. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the low 60's Fahrenheit and there was a mild 10 mph breeze. Peter K. reported the following;“The waves were a bit mushy and blown out, and visibility was poor. The lineup had shifted over a bit towards the ‘Boneyard,' and I found myself separated from the group a bit. I looked back and saw another surfer sitting about 20 feet behind me. At my eleven o'clock position I saw a 5 – 7 foot Great White breach fully out of the water about 30 yards from my board. I immediately turned back to see if the other surfer saw it, and he did. We both shared a laugh at the sight of this awesome creature launching itself out of the water. Then we paddled over toward the lineup saying we have better odds over there. Although a juvenile Great White can still do damage, its seemingly playful nature of jumping out of the water was totally disarming. The shark's coloration was dark grey and it was fairly thin, not thick like adult Great White's. What caught my eye was the ‘sheen' of the skin.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Huntington Beach  —   On November 22, 2009 Taro Yoshioka was surfing near Lifeguard Tower 12 at Huntington Beach. It was late afternoon, nearly sunset, and he had been on the water about 1.5 hours. No marine mammals were observed in the area, Yoshioka reported; “At first the silhouette was pretty far outside the line up and there wasn't anybody else nearby. I couldn't tell exactly what it was. Initial I thought it looked like a longboarder had drifted out to sea. Then I started to think, no maybe it's a sailboat. It was the right shape but too small. I caught a wave and then paddled back out. I started to look for it again and this time it was closer, 20 – 30 yards away, and it was most definitely a big gray dorsal fin. Before I had just seen silhouettes, this time I saw the gray color and the unmistakable shape. It seemed to be moving very slowly. At one point, I could even see part of its body. My first reaction was, ‘that is huge and definitely not a dolphin.' I caught the next close out in to the beach. When I got to the beach and pointed it out to a couple others, they too agreed that it looked mighty suspicious. I met with another group of about 5 surfers that were checking out the same thing. They had seen it outside of the line up and were also of the belief that it was a giant dorsal fin. It was kind of just meandering around about 20 – 30 yards outside of the line-up. I'd estimate the fin was a good 1.5 – 2 feet tall.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Pt. Loma  —   On November 22, 2009 Ryan Levinson was on his Stand Up Paddleboard 150 yards from shore near the reefs, adjacent to Pt. Loma, San Diego. The sky was clear and air and water temperatures were estimated in the upper 60s and low 60s Fahrenheit, respectively. At 11:00 AM it was high tide with 3 – 4 foot waves. Levinson reported; “I was paddling a stand up paddleboard when I noticed a seal that seemed to be acting abnormally, far more lethargic. At first I thought it was dead but when I paddled to within a few feet I noticed it was still occasionally breathing and making intermittent efforts to slowly swim. The seal had a clearly visible gaping wound in its lower left abdominal quadrant (from the perspective of looking at the ventral surface). The wound was roughly circular with a somewhat jagged perimeter, about 2.5 feet in diameter with a number of 3 – 6 inch 'strips' of flesh torn out like tangents from the center. The wound was still actively bleeding but the cloud of blood was somewhat less dense than I would have thought so it's possible the seal was extremely hypovolemic (decreased blood volume) by the time I saw it. Entrails were clearly visible. A number of gulls were flying and swimming adjacent to the seal opportunistically picking at the jagged flesh of the wound. The seal adjusted its position slightly so as to better see me but there was little reaction beyond that until a few minutes later when the seal did a somewhat weak surface dive, exposing much of the wound to the air (and thus an even better look) before submerging. None of us saw the seal subsequently surface and it was not found on the adjacent shoreline. In my view the wound was not consistent with a propeller strike nor injury from fishing gear, hull strike, seal/sealion bite, etc. The wound was far too circular and deep. I have little doubt it was a shark bite.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On November 20, 2009 Dan Raddon was surfing Trail 5 at San Onofre State Beach. It was 9:15 AM and he had been on the water for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 70 and 62 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The ocean was glassy smooth with 2 – 4 foot waves and 5 feet of water visibility. Several birds were observed on the sea surface. Raddon reported; “I was sitting on my board looking out to sea, and about 30 yards away I saw a grey triangular dorsal fin, about 17 inches tall, and the back of a shark breach the water very quickly. It was grey in color and at least 10 feet in length. It breached by some birds on the water and after it breached it disappeared. After I saw the shark I quickly paddled in and did not see the shark again.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On November 17, 2009 Kio Suzaki was fishing from a kayak at Sunset Beach. It was 10:00 AM and he was 100 yards from shore, South of the rain drain near Gladstone's Restaurant. The sky was clear with 1 foot waves. It was 1.5 hours following the peak tide of 6.5 feet and his observation of a single pinniped in the area. Water depth was about 10 feet with 20 – 30 feet of visibility. The ocean floor was sandy with scattered rocks covered with eel grass. There were 2 paddleboarders 300 yards South East of his location. Suzaki reported; “I was approximately 250 yards North of my previous encounter on November 6 th . At the time of encounter, I was chumming pieces of Mackerel to catch baitfish while fishing for Halibut.  There was no current so my kayak stayed at the same spot for about 40 minutes.  When I noticed the Great White Shark it was about 15 feet in front of me. It was 8 – 10 feet in length with a big, fat belly.  It then started to circle around the kayak at 8 – 12 feet of radius, showing interest at me the kayak, and the mackerel that I was chumming. The shark circled the kayak at least four times.  It was cruising about 2 feet below the surface.  After noticing the shark, I stayed quiet, observed it intently, and stored my fishing rod and bait.  Since there were three rods with tangled lines, I did not use oars.  The shark did not show any sign of aggressiveness, perhaps just curious.  A few minutes after the shark had left, I gradually left the scene and returned to the shore.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Rafael  —   On November 16, 2009 James White was fishing at Loch Lomond, San Rafael. He was standing on shore about 5 feet from the water. The skies were clear and the sea calm. Air temperature was estimated at 65 degrees Fahrenheit. There was no unusual behavior of marine life observed. White reported; “I was fishing at the Loch Lomond Harbor in San Rafael. It was low tide about 4:45 in the afternoon.  I was catching smelt and mackerel.  I hooked another smelt, as I was reeling it in my line became tangled under a rock a few feet out from shore. Seeing that the water was only 3 feet or so deep, I walked out about 5 feet, propped my right leg up on a rock for leverage, and with my left hand I reached down into the water to free my line. Within 20 seconds of putting my hand in the water it felt as if my hand went into a vise full of crushed glass. I thought the rock had fallen on my hand when about 6 feet from my hand I saw a long tail and dorsal fin I knew it was a shark. I tried to free my hand but every move I made the shark tried to pull my hand out to sea. With my free hand I hit the shark on top of its head twice. The second time it broke its grip. My hand suffered 7 puncture wounds and several lacerations/cuts. Another fisherman saw what happened and helped me reel in my line. The smelt was bitten in half. The shark had a large eye, blue in color, short snout, medium size mouth, body length approximately 6 feet, with the tail being 50% of the length of the body.” The shark's description is highly suggestive that a Thresher Shark (Alopiidae) was the causal species of this attack. This is the seventh unprovoked shark attack to be confirmed from the Pacific Coast during 2009. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On November 13, 2009 Mark McAllister and his brother Dave, were North of Old Man's Point, at the beach break, 2nd stairs, San Onofre State Beach. It was about 4:30 PM and they were preparing to enter the water. They observed an unusually large number of birds and baitfish in the area with a pod of at least 10 Dolphin appearing from time to time. The sky was clear with air and water temperatures estimated in the upper and lower 60s Fahrenheit, respectively. The ocean was glassy with 1 – 3 foot waves. Mark reported the following; “My brother and I were talking about trying out his new video camera before our trip to Puerto Rico. It was late in the day and we kept procrastinating on going out, for me to surf and Dave to film. Then we saw a Great White Shark, about 8 feet in length with a charcoal top and white underbelly, breach completely out of the water and come splashing back down. While we stood there somewhat dismayed a second Great White Shark, 5 – 6 feet in length, breached. After the second breach we decided not to go out. No seals were seen in the area.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Bolsa Chica State Beach  —   On November 11, 2009 Jamie M. Teague reported the following; “At 3:30 PM a decapitated Seal washed ashore in front of the Visitor's Center at Bolsa Chica State Park. The wound was fresh with red blood present. The Seal did not appear to have been eaten – just missing its head with a wound on its side.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On November 10, 2009 Matthew Christian was surfing 150 – 200 yards from shore at Sunset Beach. It was 11:00 AM with a clear sky and no wind. Four dolphins were observed swimming North 150 yards offshore about 15 – 30 minutes prior to the shark sighting. Christian recalled; “There were numerous schools of baitfish present in the surf zone. The water was unusually clear, allowing me to see the schools were comprised of at least 100+ baitfish and other larger species (in numbers of 1-10). These schools would swim by my location at a frequency of every 5 – 10 minutes. While waiting for a set, directly West of The Point, a shark fully breached the water in a nearly vertical manner, getting a maximum clearance of approximately 3 feet. While in the air the shark was thrashing side to side. The dorsal side was facing shore and the color was a dark gray. The shark was 4 – 6 feet in length. Finer details could not be seen due to poor eyesight and glare from the sun. After the event I did not see any other signs of a shark for the remaining 2.5 hours of the surf session.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On November 6, 2009 Kio Suzaki was snorkeling at Sunset Beach at about 12 noon. He was 250 yards from shore and 300 yards East of Gladstone's Restaurant in water 15 feet deep with like visibility. The sky was clear with 1 foot waves about 1 hour after the peak tide, 6.5 feet. The ocean floor was sandy with scattered rocks. A single pinniped and a pod of 6 – 7 Dolphins were observed about 400 yards from his location. Suzaki reported; “At the time of encounter, I was swimming back toward the beach, about 250 yards away when I noticed, the shark passing straight in front of me at a distance of about 10 feet. It passed from my right to left at a 90-degree angle. It was leisurely cruising (so it appeared) about 3 feet below the surface and looked calm, with his head pointing straight ahead. I noticed the shark when I looked down to check the bottom for halibut/lobster. I was swimming quietly, using my fins with my arms at my side. After noticing the shark directly ahead of me, I stopped kicking my fins, quietly picked up my spear gun from my shoulder and prepared to fight if needed. It marched forward and never turned around as I checked the surrounding area as I headed for the beach quietly and at a modest speed. Most likely this was a Great White Shark, dark on top with a white belly, and 7 – 9 feet in length. It was similar to the shark breaching as shown in the photo published in the LA Times on October 3rd.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Santa Cruz  —   On November 5, 2009 Eric Geiselman was surfing at Lagunas just North of Santa Cruz. The following report was posted on the web site Super Spectacular Adventuires by Geiselman; “I don't even know how to describe it. Everything happened so quickly! I was surfing with my brother Evan and Taylor Brothers at this wave called Lagoonas. The waves were sh..ty and it was raining. I wasn't even that motivated to go out. Evan and Taylor were in typical ‘grom' mode and wanted to have a paddle. Jay Thompson and a couple other guys were out surfing too. Right before it was getting dark everyone went in except us. I was sitting out the back just waiting for a wave. I had my back towards the ocean looking straight towards the beach to line up when it happened. Out of nowhere I got attacked from underneath. My board broke instantly right underneath me from the crazy force and I pretty much fell through my board but somehow managed to keep the front end under me. I knew right away I was being attacked and sort of just went into panic mode. I actually kicked it to when I was scrambling to get away. I was screaming to my brother who was about 30 yards away from me. My leash was still attached to the back end of my board when I was scratching to get away but, I was too scared to even reach back and undo it! What was so crazy is we weren't even that far off the beach. Luckily I made it in to the shore. My buddy Mike Lopez and Taylor's brother Cavin filmed me scratching once they heard me screaming. All that you can see on footage. Somehow my board didn't get a bite in it?? Luckily it hit me by my fins so I think that might have spooked it. It was definitely the scariest thing that has ever happen to me. It's crazy because it felt like a really bad nightmare. So scary to know how helpless you are in the water when something like that goes down! Thank God that's all that happened!" This is the sixth authenticated unprovoked shark attack reported from the Pacific Coast this year. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Pismo Beach  —   On November 4, 2009 Jeff Ollerich was on the Pismo Beach Pier at 10 AM. There was a foggy overcast with calm, placid, sea conditions. Ollerich reported; “I was standing on the pier watching a pod of Dolphins slowly swim around near the pier. They got really close to the surfers that were out and almost went into the lineup. As I was watching them I noticed a seal swim to the surface right at the end of the pier it looked right at me and rolled over exposing a nasty shark bite. It was obvious that it was a shark bite and it looked fairly grisly but the seal seemed OK. The seal then submerged and swam off. I guess because I didn't notice him again, at that point I looked over at a fisherman standing near me and he looked at me with a knowing glance. I commented ‘lucky seal,' and left the pier thinking about what I had just seen. My friends and I surf that spot frequently.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On November 1, 2009 Scott at SunsetSurf.com received the following report from Dr. Christopher R. Jones; “SUP out off the main point at 9:15 AM with friend Wes Negus. We both witnessed a shark breach, Wes seeing the whole breach, while I saw the splash down. We proceeded South on our paddle and on return, nearly in the same spot about 150 yards South of Gladstone's, and 30 yards out to sea, we saw the shark pass about 15 feet below us. The vis' (visibility) was about 25 feet, remarkably clear day.  Noting the bulge near the tail fin and the sweeping dorsal fin, this was definitely a Great White Shark. We estimated 6 – 7 feet in length, though parallax through the water can make it difficult to scale absolute size.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On October 24, 2009 Scott Barton and his companion, Emily Sondergaard, were surfing San Onofre State Beach at Trail 5. It was 5:30 PM and they had been on the water 45 minutes. They were about 20 yards from shore in water 4 feet deep with an estimated temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit and visibility of 3 – 4 feet. The ocean was calm with a clear sky and an estimated air temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Barton reported; “My girlfriend and I were surfing at Trail 5 Saturday evening. It was a beautiful afternoon, with almost no wind, warm air and water, and 2 – 4 foot waves coming in. Several fish were felt and seen in the water around my feet and legs prior to the incident. They appeared to be grunion. I had just caught a wave and rode it in, and was turning my board around to paddle back out. As I was about to get back on my board to begin paddling, I felt something brush against the calf of my leg. I was wearing a spring suit, so I could distinctly feel that it was some type of animal, and not just a piece of kelp or seaweed. It startled me, so I kind of jumped up a bit to try to get back on my board, but before I could, I felt several sharp teeth puncture my big toe and underside of my left foot. It caused a sharp pain, and I knew instantly that I was bleeding. My first reaction was to try to get it off so I shook my leg hard, and it let go. I called to my girlfriend that I had just been bitten, and that we should get out of the water. So we both exited the water and walked up the beach. It was there that I discovered three puncture wounds on my big toe and one on the arch of my foot. This was clearly not a stingray wound or anything else I could think of. Then we cleaned and dried the cuts on the beach and went home.” The three punctures to the top of the left foot/big toe demonstrate an ‘interspace measurement' of 1 centimeter, or 0.4 inches, between each cut. The slice to the arch of the left foot is approximately one-half inch in length. The configuration and spacing of the individual tooth punctures is consistent with upper and lower jaw teeth of a small shark. Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On October 22, 2009 Matthew Paladini was surfing, with his friend Steve, at San Onofre State Beach. It was 3:00 PM and they had been on the water 45 minutes. The sky was clear with a light breeze and an estimated air temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The water was 10 – 15 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom with 1 – 3 feet of visibility and an estimated temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Paladini reported; “My friend Steve and I had been surfing San Onofre State Beach at Trail 6. There were only 5 guys in the water. Steve was about 15 feet North of me. As we were talking, a large shark breached the water about 150 feet behind Steve and about 50 feet outside the line-up. The shark didn't fully breach the water. About 2 minutes after it landed I saw the dorsal fin slowly come out of the water and descend back. The fin was pointed and the fish didn't swim at all like a Dolphin. The shark was grayish-blue with a white belly and 7 – 8 feet in length. It was headed North, towards ‘Old Mans.'” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On October 20, 2009 Jeanette Francis was surfing the ‘Point' at San Onofre State Beach. It was 6:45 AM and she had been on the water about 15 minutes. The sky was overcast with air and water temperatures estimated at 65 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The water was 15 – 20 feet deep with a high surf and little visibility due to sand and other debris from the inshore water turbulence. Francis reported the following; “At the time there were only 5 surfers outside at The Point waiting for another set. As the first wave started to form at the northside of the Point, approximately 10 feet away from me, a 5 – 6 foot grey backed, white bellied, dorsal finned shark jumped straight out of the water and landed on its back.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On October 18, 2009 Bill McMillen reported the following; “At 5:45 PM I was surfing with two friends at the ‘Point' at the Northern part of San Onofre Surfing Beach. We witnessed an 8+ foot shark (Great White?) breach completely out of the water approximately 250 feet South of our location. Later I noticed some (fin only) activity in the same general area 15 minutes later from the shore.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Will Rogers State Beach  —  On October 18, 2009 Terumi Toyoshima reported the following; “I was hanging out on the beach and hoping to see a school of Dolphins at Will Rogers State Beach from around 10:30 AM to around noon.  The water was calm, the weather was still gloomy. A few grownups and several kids were playing with the waves along the shore, some of them were in the knee high water and a guy who was riding a jet ski from North to South came ashore because it seemed like his jet ski broke down. Maybe 5 – 10 minutes after the lifeguards came and started helping this guy - I would say it was around noon or a little before noon – I saw a shark that jumped out from the water where I usually spot Dolphins – about 50 yards (or maybe closer) away from the shore, about 100+ yards North of Temescal Caynon. It was the size of a baby Dolphin, about 5 feet in length, with a slender body and a lighter grey than a Dolphin. But, it wasn't a Dolphin. I've been spotting Dolphins pretty often for the last 10 years there.  And, I know how they look and how they move. I saw the entire body of this shark. It jumped vertically up while twisting its body, once or maybe twice, and then back into the water. I can't remember if it went back into the water head or tail first. It was so quick! I'm not sure if it was attacking or catching anything. There were some birds floating on the water.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Santa Monica  —   On Sunday Oct 11, 2009 Catherine Owens reported the following; “A group of about 10 USC students were filming near Lifeguard Tower 18 at Santa Monica Beach. Around 9:30 AM we saw what was probably about 15 spotted sharks (probably Leopard Sharks, Triakis semifasciata ) varying in length from 3 feet to 6 feet swimming in the shallowest part of the water, right where we were wading. One swam directly to me as the water brought it up in a wave. I was not in deeper than ankle deep.  About three sharks swam around another crew member's legs that were not in deeper than his knees. Around 10:30 AM several of us saw at least one larger shark further out about 30 yards past the surfer line-up. It appeared to be grey and about 10 feet (?) long. We either saw the same shark twice or two sharks of a similar size. The smaller sharks near shore disappeared for a few hours but were back around 2 PM. They swam straight at us at different points, but never really bothered us, except for causing a lot of excitement.”  Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Santa Monica  —   On October 9, 2009 Dave Wood was surfing in Santa Monica at Bay Street and Pico/Kenter runoff drain. It was 6:00 PM and he had been on the water about one hour. Air and water temperatures were recorded at 85 and 71 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The sky was clear with a light wind and a calm, flat, sea surface. The water was 8 feet deep with 6 – 10 feet of visibility and a sandy ocean floor. Marine mammals and schools of baitfish were observed in the area. Wood recalled; “I was sitting on my surfboard and saw many bait fish scatter and jump from the water then a large dorsal fin appeared out of the water, about 10 – 12 inches, then I noticed a large tail fin moving back and forth. The encounter lasted a little less than 20 seconds. I believe, this was not a white shark. I did see many, about 20, Leopard Shark's that day also while surfing and have continued to see them every time I surf. This was not a Leopard Shark it was much bigger and was not afraid of me or my movements.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On October 9, 2009 Bernard Wagor was surfing at San Onofre State Beach near ‘Old Man's.' It was 11:00 AM. Wagor reported the following; “I was just taking off on a wave, laying prone on my board and paddling with my lower legs positioned perpendicular to my board/prone position, I heard the wave breaking behind me and was about to stand up when all of a sudden, I felt what I would say is a very hard ‘kick' to my lower left leg shin. At first I thought I was being hit by someone else's board. I proceeded to stand up and looked back, no one else in the place I was hit and no other board, also no one else on the wave. I looked at my leg and it was bleeding. After the ride was over, I paddled back out, looking for any debris and to see if anybody out there thought they may have hit me or if I may have 'dropped in' on somebody I did not see coming. No, nobody felt like that was the case for them or anyone they saw. I sat out there for a few minutes and my leg continued to bleed and I am now noticing a piece of ‘flesh' hanging out of the wound. I paddled in and wash it off and asked if anybody on shore saw anything. I ended up going to the emergency room at the hospital in San Clemente where they gave me 4 stitches.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On October 3, 2009 Randy Wright of Horizon's West Surf Shop, Santa Monica, was kayaking 320 yards off Sunset Beach. It was 9:00 AM and he had been on the water 1.5 hours. He was using a Wilderness Tarpon Kayak, 10 feet in length, as a anchored stable platform, and a Canon 40d camera with a 24-105 mm lens inside an SPL Waterhousing. Sea conditions were flat with a measured water depth of 27 feet and 5 – 8 feet of visibility. There was a mild offshore breeze with air and water temperatures estimated at 70 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. Several Dolphins were observed in the area in addition to schools of baitfish.

Wright reported the following; “I paddled my kayak out in the same area where Brian Moore, Gerry Wallfesh, Kim Welsh and many others have seen shark, believed to be GWS, breaching. My intent was to photograph the breaching shark for research purposes. I anchored about 50 feet farther out from the buoy. I did not chum nor throw anything in the water.

Photographs Removed At The

Request of Randy Wright

At 8.47 AM, I heard a large swooshing noise just east of my position in the direction of the Bel Air Bay Club. I grabbed my camera and turned to try and capture what I was vaguely seeing. What appeared to be a large animal splashing into the water about 60 feet away from me. Since I did not see it initially, I only caught a glimpse of it as it re-entered the water, noticing a lot of white on it body, but I could not tell what it was. Now I knew something was out there, but I did not believe it to be a Dolphin, since I noticed no Dolphins surface and breathe in my vicinity. Keeping my camera ready, level, pre-focused, and my finger on the shutter trigger, I continuously scanned different sections of the water. At 8:56 AM, looking towards the point, I noticed 2 guys on SUP's paddling past Chris Rozsa, who was halibut fishing in his small boat. Still looking towards the point area, at 9:00 AM exactly, I noticed some movement towards my left and quickly turned the camera and fired off 4 shots of something, I wasn't sure, airborne and then splashing. As I was not originally looking in the same exact direction, I did not see what it was, it happened so fast, but I assumed this was a shark, since I did not see any dolphins in the area surface and breathe afterwards. A local resident, Blake paddled up to me on a SUP and we conversed about what I thought I had photographed. Deciding to try and capture a photo of one of these animals with the land as a back ground, I pulled anchor and paddled 75 feet farther, dropped anchor and waited. At exactly 10:00 AM I heard another splash on my starboard side, towards the Bel Air Bay Club, but missed the animal breach, but shot the remnants of the splash. I did not see any other breaching by the time I left at 11:23 AM arriving back at Horizon's West Surf Shop at noon. Two friends, Carlos Pires and Paige Heatherington watched me unload my camera from the SPL Waterhousing and download and go over the photo's I shot that morning over the 4 hour period that I spent observing. Our jaws literally dropped when image #73, 74, 75, 76 appeared, for his was the legendary breaching shark in mid-air! This was what I saw and luckily captured.” Randy has been, and continues to be, a valued SRC supporter and field observer. Based on dorsal coloration, the gray and white pattern on the pelvic fin, shape and color of the caudal fin, location and shapes of the dorsal and pectoral fins, snout and eye, the pictured animal is a White Shark, with an estimated length of 8 – 10 feet. From May 17, 2009, to today's observation, there have been more than 20 reports forwarded to the SRC of a shark breaching at Sunset Beach. In support of these observations Richard S. Miller, Ph.D., Psychologist, Malibu sent the following email; “Shark breaching at Sunset is neither an infrequent nor a recent phenomenon. From 1962 – 72, I worked as a beach guard for the City of L.A. at Will Rogers Beach (State Beach to the old Getty). One summer I worked Tower # 4 (Sunset) and witnessed shark breaching, once even taking a bird in flight.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On October 3, 2009 Brad Booth and a companion were surfing at San Onofre State Beach just South of ‘Old Man's.' It was 7:00 AM when they entered the water. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the low 70s and mid-60s Fahrenheit, respectively. The sky was clear with an offshore wind. The water was 10 – 15 feet deep with about 5 – 10 feet of visibility and a sandy bottom with eel grass and small statured kelps. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Booth reported the following; “We were just paddling out for the first time when both my buddy and I saw the shark breach the water completely and go back in. We were approx. 50 yards offshore at the time and the shark was about 100 yards out from us. We continued to surf and saw no other marine life before or after that. The shark was 4 – 5 feet in length with dark grey on top and white belly. At the time, we thought it to be a small White or a medium Mako.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On October 2, 2009 Brian Moore was surfing at Sunset Beach. It was 7:40 AM and air and water temperatures were estimated at 75 and 71 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. It was clear with small surf. Moore reported; “While surfing on 1 – 2 foot I observed a large splash about 200 yards off the point. It was 100 yards right of, and 50 yards out past, the buoy. I continued surfing and about 20 minutes later observed a fairly large shark breach completely out of the water and land on its back. It was grey with a white belly and 8 – 10 feet in length. I would be guessing to say I was sure of the species. There was one other surfer in the water and two paddle boarders in the area. There were a lot of birds in the area that seemed to be going after baitfish.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On September 28, 2009 Steven DaPena was surfing between Dogpatch and Old Man's at San Onofre State Beach. It was 10:00 AM and he had been on the water one hour. The sky was clear with an estimated air temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea was calm with an estimated temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The water was about 8 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom with 15 – 20 feet of visibility. No marine mammals were observed in the area before or following the encounter. DaPena reported; “About 6 of us had seen what appeared to be an 8'+ White Shark breech completely out of the water about 200 yards out from where we were surfing. About 30 minutes later my friend John said he saw what appeared to be the same shark swimming right beneath us, moving South to North very slowly. About 5 people decided to get out of the water at this time. The White Shark was at least 8 feet in length, with a substantial girth and a white underside and grey top.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On September 25, 2009 Kevin O'Sullivan reported the following; “I was in the line-up at Old Man's on Sept 24 and can confirm all the reports. I don't think you need me to contribute anything: it's all covered. The shark hung out in the line-up for over two hours, coming in at peak high tide. It swam directly under my board when it was first seen and I observed it cruising the line-up at close distance. At one point it surfaced right behind a surfer's board, the tip of its dorsal poking two inches out of the water, after the surfer made a squeaking sound by rubbing the rail of his board. For the most part the shark stayed several feet below the surface. About 10 minutes before the first sighting I saw what appeared to be a tuna swimming away from me. There was lots of bait fish in the area. I might add: on September 24 there were TWO sharks in the line-up, although the smaller of the two seemed to leave quickly. The larger of the two was over 6 feet and had considerably more girth than the smaller, that I'd estimate was 4 – 5 feet and narrower in profile.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On September 24, 2009 Kenny Blunt was surfing ‘Old Man's' at San Onofre State Beach. It was 2:15 PM and he had been on the water about 15 minutes. The sky was clear and there was a brisk breeze with the air temperature estimated at 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea was calm with the surf 2 – 4 feet. The water was 15 – 20 feet deep with the temperature estimated at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. An undisclosed amount of bait fish and marine mammals were noted in the area. Blunt reported; “I paddled out into the lineup at ‘Old Man's' and one of the surfers in the lineup said ‘watch out for the shark.' I dismissed his comment, as a local trying to thin the lineup with a joke. Sure enough 20 minutes later, there it was. The dorsal fin broke the surface about 20 feet from me and the guys on the outside waiting for the set. Many guys immediately lifted their feet onto their boards and went on their knees. The shark was swimming slowly and went back under the water. The guy that gave the initial warning, afterwards said that the shark appeared early in the day and must have reappeared. He estimated the shark's length at 6 – 8 feet with a lot of ‘girth.' Probably 20 minutes after the initial sitting we all saw something breach the water. It could have been a seal or the shark going for something. I did mention to the lifeguard and he mentioned they have had about 15 shark sightings this summer.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On September 24, 2009 Ryan Schopen was surfing at San Onofre State Beach. It was about 12:00 PM and he had been on the water 2 hours. The sky was clear and there was a light breeze with the air temperature estimated at 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Water was 20 feet deep with a sandy bottom and scattered areas of rocky reef and sea grass. Water temperature was estimated to be 65 degrees Fahrenheit with small waves. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Schopen reported; “I was on the outside set slightly South of Old Mans - in front of the volley ball courts. I could see some other surfers looking for something in the water and knew they must have seen something. Several minutes latter about 30 yards away from my location a few of us saw a shark fully breach out of the water. Estimated 6 to 8 feet in size, it had a white belly and was light grey in color with a large girth. There also seemed to be a lot of small bait fish in the area at the time. Later back on shore we witnessed another breaching in the same general area. Several surfers informed the lifeguards of the sighting. I exited the water about 15 minutes later.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On September 18, 2009 Rick Nagle and his wife were surfing 150 yards from shore between Old Mans and Dogpatch at San Onofre State Beach. It was 11:25 AM and they had been on the water one hour. It was hazy with a light West South West breeze and an estimated air temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. The water was very clear, 8 – 10 feet deep with a sand and cobblestone bottom, and an estimated temperature of 74 degrees Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Nagle reported;”My wife and I had been surfing in front of the volleyball courts, between Old Mans and Dogpatch, for about one hour. After paddling back outside, we were waiting and watching for the next set. We sat on our boards for several minutes, and then approximately 30 – 40 yards straight out from where we were sitting a 6 foot Great White Shark shot straight up and fully breached. I saw its white underbelly. After it submerged we continued surfing for two more hours and didn't see it again.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —  On September 16, 2009 Wayne Ariola reported the following; “I witnessed my third breach from what I believe is this juvenile White Shark off of Sunset Beach at 6:15 PM this evening. It was a full breach with the White Shark twisting and landing on his back exposing the white belly, pretty remarkable. There was a red tide inside of the surf zone. The breach occurred outside of the red tide area. No birds in the area this time. The breach was about 500 yards off the beach outside the red tide. I hate to speculate but the whole act looked playful.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On September 15, 2009 Brett Camarata and an unidentified companion were fishing for Halibut in 40 feet of water off the San Onofre Nuclear Power Station. It was 9:00 AM under a cloudy sky with an estimated air temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea was calm with about 12 feet of water visibility and an estimated temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area prior to or following the observation. Camarata reported; “We were fishing off the power plant for halibut and had just lost a large one when I looked over and saw the White Shark about 10 feet away from my boat slowly swimming by about 3 feet under the surface. The shark checked us out and went on his way, an awesome sight. I have seen them at Guadalupe Island before but not here. The shark was about 7 to 8 feet, maybe larger.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On September 12, 2009 Jason Wood was Stand Up Paddle Boarding at Dog Patch, San Onofre State Beach. It was 5:00 PM and he had been on the water 90 minutes. The sky was clear with a brisk wind and an estimated air temperature of 76 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea was choppy from the breeze with the depth 8 – 12 feet and an estimated water temperature of 74 degrees Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Wood recalled; “I was paddle surfing at Dog Patch. I would paddle out past the outside break and wait for a set. The breeze would gust causing me to occasionally lose my balance and fall into the water. While I was waiting, I noticed a large gray shark swim toward me serpent-like from my 2 o'clock. He was only about 1 foot under the surface. He swam slowly. I could see him WAY TOO CLEARLY. He had girth, like the diameter of a trashcan. I estimate his length to be about 10 feet. My board is 10.5 feet and he was almost the same size. As the shark went under my board, I started paddling like a crazy person toward the shore. I warned the boogie boarder and surfers who were only about 30 – 40 feet away from the shark. I also found another stand up paddle surfer who was falling a lot in the direction the shark was heading, so I warned him as well. A lifeguard asked me detailed questions regarding the shark when I arrived on the beach. He confirmed it to be a Great White Shark.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Will Rogers State Beach  —  On September 12, 2009 Jon Root reported the following; “Around 11:00 AM I was Stand Up Paddle Boarding with a friend in the water Northwest of Will Rogers State Beach. My friend and I were approx 450 yards Northwest of the storm drain inlet at 16364 Pacific Coast Highway paddling toward the bend where the surfers congregate. We were planning to paddle to the area in front of Gladstone's Restaurant. I was in front of my friend paddling toward the orange buoy in that area. I noticed ahead of me a dark spot of what I thought was a large piece of seaweed. Upon getting closer I could see it was moving slowly and steadily and thought it was a seal. As I approached even closer I realized it was neither seaweed nor a seal, but a shark. It was brownish in color, with mottled dark patches. The animal was swimming just below the surface but the dorsal fins were not out of the water. I came within 10 – 15 feet of the shark and estimate it was 6 – 8 feet in length. I turned a quick 180 degrees and paddled back toward my friend. Not sure what type it was, but I'm certain it was a shark.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Huntington Beach  —   On September 12, 2009, at 5:00 PM, Tim Gillam observed the following while on the Huntington Beach Pier; “I was walking with my wife and friends on the pier. We rounded Ruby's Restaurant and observed a fisherman had caught, killed and gutted a small Thresher Shark (Alopias sps.) adjacent to the restaurant. Though the body of the shark was small, because of its long tail, the man had to stand up on a nearby bench to have his picture taken with the shark. I would estimate the shark's total length 7 – 8 feet. There was quite a bit of bait in the water which other fishermen were catching with poles. We also saw a Seal nearby. ” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Willow Creek Beach  —   On September 9, 2009 Drew Arnold received the following information from Alan Spehar while kayaking off Willow Creek Beach in Big Sur; “It was about 9:00 AM when I (Sephar) launched my kayak off Willow Creek Beach, Big Sur and headed North about 1 mile to dive. My return trip started at about 12:30 PM and was met with a strong South to North current that severely hampered my progress. The kayak was traveling South on the outside edge of the kelp bed about 300 yards off shore for about an hour when I heard, and saw, a large splash about 40 yards outside my kayak. Then I saw a swirl and a large dorsal fin surface, which was pointed right at him. The shark must have seen the kayak and kicked very fast directly at the side of the kayak. I could not see a profile as the shark was coming directly at the side of my kayak but did describe a dark grey to black coloring, a 2 foot high dorsal fin, and a widening towards the tail. The head and tail fin were submerged but the surface area of the shark that was visible was approximately 15 feet in length, so total length was estimated to be 20 feet or more. The shark closed the distance from 40 yards to 20 yards in a split second then submerged. I brought my fins and legs into the kayak and braced for the impact but it never came. Another 4 hours of paddling with no further sightings against the strong current put the kayak back onshore at the entry point of Willow Creek Beach.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On September 9, 2009 Troy Zoerhof was fishing from a lime green kayak off the beach in front of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station located between San Onofre State Beach and San Onofre Surf Beach. It was 11:00 AM and he had been on the water about 5 hours. It was sunny with an estimated air temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit and a NW wind at 10 knots. The water was 15 – 20 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom with a slight wind chop to the sea surface. Water temperature was estimated at 74 degrees Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area prior to the encounter. Zoerhof recalled; “I was fishing from my kayak, inshore, in front of San Onofre NGS. I was drifting and re-drifting parallel to shore, over a rocky reef catching Sand Bass and Sheepshead. On a drift I witnessed a fairly large shark leap from the water ~150 yards outside of my position. I have caught many sharks and by the look of its body shape and tail I assume it was a White Shark, and being this was murky inshore I assume it was NOT a Mako Shark. On a subsequent drift, maybe 10 or so minutes after I saw the leap, the fishing just dried up. It went from 3 – 4 fish per drift to zero in one drift. I was about to reset thinking possibly I missed the reef on the drift when on my right in my peripheral vision I saw a gray shape glide into view. At first I thought it was a harbor seal as they do glide past occasionally, usually on their backs looking back at me. But in about a second I saw it was a White Shark. It slowly glided past me within 7 feet of my kayak. I could have poked it with my 7 foot fishing rod.  It was slightly banked, looking right at me with its left eye. It just glided past, without any tail beats. Then it just sank out of sight. I was in awe. My kayak is 14 feet long and the shark was as long as the forward part of my kayak to just behind the cockpit. I would estimate its length at 10 feet easy. I radioed my fishing partner and told him about it. Then I paddled back upwind and reset my drift over the reef and the fishing picked right back up. I did about 5 more drifts catching a Sheepshead for dinner, and then paddled back to the beach.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.  

 

Will Rogers State Beach  —  On September 7, 2009 Brant Didden was Stand-Up Paddle Boarding 400 yards from shore near the Bel Air Bay Club. It was mid-day and he had been on the water about 10 minutes. The sky was clear with air and water temperatures estimated at 85 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively, with a 5 – 7 MPH West wind. The ocean was calm with slightly bumpy conditions due to the wind. Water visibility was 10 – 12 feet. Marine mammals were not observed in the area. Didden reported ; “I was paddling around a buoy approximately 500 yards from shore with my friend's son on my Stand-Up Paddle Board. I had made the turn around the buoy and was heading back towards shore in even, non-rushed, strokes when I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. As I looked down I could see the very definite outline of what looked to be about a 6 foot, obviously shaped, Great White Shark that was dark grey in color.  It was swimming closer to the bottom than the surface and going in crossing direction (had maybe just passed directly underneath us). Its depth was 8-10 feet underwater. It was swimming in very rhythmic smooth motions very characteristic of a Great White Shark. As soon as I saw the shark I stopped paddling to observe it. After maybe 2 – 3 seconds it seemed to notice me and then gave a couple quick jerky type movements and swam quickly away from our position heading West. I continued paddling towards shore and did not see the shark again.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Santa Cruz Island  —  On September 7, 2009 Andrew Norton was motoring a 30 foot sloop sailboat 1 mile from shore on the South side of Santa Cruz Island, Santa Barbara. It was 1:00 PM and he had been sailing for about one hour. The sky was clear with an estimated air temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Water visibility was good, but not specified, with a temperature in the mid-60s Fahrenheit. Norton reported; “I was on the South side of Santa Cruz Island, approximately 1 mile offshore from Albert's Anchorage. The winds were very light and variable to non-existent. There were small ripples on the sea surface. We were motoring our 30 foot sailboat at a pace of about 5 knots going East. I spotted a fin off the starboard side of the boat. It was approximately 30 yards from the boat, was triangular, dark in color and moving in an opposite direction, going West, at a steady even pace through the water. I often see porpoise, seals, and dolphin but this was clearly different in its motion through the water. The fin was approximately 12 – 15 inches tall and the outline of the body was difficult to make out, but visible as a dark shadow beneath the surface. Our guess is the shark was approximately 7 – 8 feet in length. The fin submerged after being seen about 8 seconds and never surfaced again.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Will Rogers State Beach  —  On September 6, 2009 Ralph Buoncristiani was Stand Up Paddling Boarding at Will Rogers State Beach. It was 8:30 AM and he had been on the water about one hour. The sky was clear with the air and water temperatures estimated at 72 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The ocean was flat and calm with 1 – 2 foot ground swells over a sandy bottom about 20 feet deep intermittently covered with Sea Grass. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Buoncristiani reported; “I had just circled the buoy off of Gladstone's and was heading into shore. I was 50 yards offshore at the North end of the Bel Air Bay Club. The shark passed on my left going the same direction, towards shore. It was about 2 feet off the edge of my board and it came to within 3 feet of surface cruising leisurely. It seemed to be curious, checking me out. Not aggressive. Shark did not circle back. It was a grayish/brown color and 5 – 6 feet in length.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.  

 

Morro Strand Beach  —  On September 6, 2009 Cindy ? was surfing at Morro Strand Beach located two miles South of Cayucos in San Luis Obispo County. She reported the following; “It was odd because we usually see dolphins, seals, sea lions and otters. I can say we see at least one of those every trip. There was no observed baitfish or active birds either. My sister and I and our four children, ages 12, 13, 16, and16, had been in the water about 1 1/2 hours boogie boarding (4) and body surfing (2). We got pushed in a Southerly direction by the current. We got out walking back up the beach and that is when we saw the small baby seal. It was decapitated with clear bite marks on the body as well. It was bled out and I believe it had been in the water for a bit before coming on shore.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.  

 

Sunset Beach  —  On September 3, 2009 John Beaver was kayaking 300 yards from shore at Sunset Beach in front of Gladstone's Restaurant. It was 5:00 PM and he had been on the water 15 minutes. The sky was clear with some noticeable smoke from the local fires. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 85 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The surf was small with calm seas and no white caps present. No marine mammals were observed in the area. There were about 5 Pelicans actively diving the area. Beaver reported the following; “I was kayaking West about 300 yards off the coast and had just made a left hand turn to head East in front of Gladstone's Restaurant. I looked to the South and out of nowhere the shark breeched completely out of the water about 30 feet from my kayak. The tail probably cleared the surface by 4 – 5 feet. I've only seen dolphins do this, so I expected it to be a dolphin, but it was definitely a shark.  It was much thinner than a dolphin and different coloring. It twisted in the air so I got a good look at the entire animal. There were no other sea animals present and about 5 pelicans actively diving in the area. It came out of nowhere and disappeared just as quickly.  It did not swim near the surface at any time that I saw.  I continued kayaking East toward the Bel Air Bay Club and did not see the shark again. The shark was bluish grey with very white underbelly. The white underbelly appeared as a very defined oval rather than blending into the grey. It was probably 5 – 7 feet in length.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Pacifica State Beach  —  On September 2, 2009 Derek Bobbe was surfing at the North end of Pacifica State Beach, also known as Linda Mar Beach. It is 6:40 PM and he had been on the water 40 minutes. The sun was setting and the sky was partly cloudy with an estimated air temperature of 71 degrees Fahrenheit. There was a light surface chop with small disorganized 2 – 3 foot waves. Water depth was 5 – 7 feet with visibility of 4 – 5 feet and an estimated temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit. A single pinniped was observed in the area 5 – 10 minutes prior to the encounter. Bobbe recounted; “I was surfing some small waves at North Linda Mar. There were four other surfers in my immediate area. The conditions were deteriorating as the tide was increasing. Shortly after a small set of waves arrived, one of the other surfers yelled, "Shark!" I figured he was probably joking or had seen a dolphin. However, 2 – 3 minutes later I was paddling to get past an outside wave of another set. At that point, I observed a shark briefly passing through a wave approximately 25 feet outside of me and diagonally towards the South. Another surfer was positioned near the peak of the wave and was only 3 – 10 feet from where the shark surfaced. The shark was moving parallel with the wave and had a prominent dorsal fin which was quite tall (approximately 2 – 2.5 feet). Due to the angle of the shark's course, I could only see the front of its body, which was quite wide, and its dorsal fin. I think it was at least 6 – 8 feet long and perhaps longer. I observed the shark for 2 – 3 seconds and then lost sight of the shark as the wave crashed. After the wave crashed, I immediately turned around and paddled quickly, yet deliberately, towards the beach and did not panic. Two other surfers who introduced themselves as Luke and David (Luke was the one who had yelled "Shark!") had already returned to the beach and described their encounter excitedly. Luke noted that the shark had passed closely to him and seemed to be following him before he yelled out. I later spoke with the third surfer (who had been close to the shark when I witnessed it) in the parking lot near Crespi and Highway 1.  He had noticed the large dorsal fin surface near him. He also believed he had seen a large White Shark and that it moved in a deliberate, straight motion unlike a dolphin.  He further noted that the shark was less than 10 feet from him when it surfaced. He too exited the water shortly after I did.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Huntington State Beach  —  On August 30, 2009 Cory Hedgepeth was surfing at Huntington Beach, just North of the pier, roughly 300 yards, near the grassy hill. He was not as far as Dog Beach. It was 6:30 PM and he had been on the water 30 minutes. The sky was clear with an estimated air temperature of 82 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea conditions were poor for surfing. Water temperature was warm, 70 degrees Fahrenheit with poor visibility. No marine mammals or fish were observed in the area. Hedgepeth recalled; “It was a pretty high tide. Most of the surf was mushy and rather easy to duck dive, but I was surfing near the shore (due to high tide). There were swimmers around, probably 9 or 10. There were roughly 12 surfers sporadic on this one break that sits almost dead straight out from the first set of steps on the grassy hill. I duck dived under a 4 foot wave. While I was under water, everything was gentle until I felt a pretty sudden jolt on the back of my board. It came from directly underneath and was enough to cause me to go almost vertical, feet up. It also caused the board to slip down my body. In ten years of surfing, I have never felt anything close to that. When I popped up out of the surf, I quickly inspected the board. I didn't see any fin damage. I really thought it had to be some type of strong fish, and considered a shark, but dismissed it due to the rare odds. Within less than a minute, I paddled into the same spot, came down the wave, turned around, and saw a shark swimming into the wave exactly where I was hit. It swam across the wave. It was dark blue with a triangular dorsal fin and roughly 4 feet in length. It then turned on its side, exposing its white belly to me. I had no choice but dive into the wave with it, as the surf was breaking; however, it left me alone. It had a traditional shark body. It got extremely close to me, within only a few feet. It was sort of thrashing in the wave. Because the sun was on its way to setting in Huntington Beach, the waves were lit up pretty well, making it easy to see everything. This is the first time I have ever seen a shark in California waters.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee

 

Sunset Beach  —  On August 30, 2009 Wayne Ariola posted the following report; “I was approximately 200 yards off of the point at Sunset Beach at about 1 PM. I witnessed a White Shark breach two times within 4 minutes. The water temperature was in the upper 60s. There was a limited swell and wave action. There was a significant amount of bait fish schooling on the inside of Sunset. Four kayaks, which had launched form the Bel-Air Bay Club, were about 150 yards away from the breach site towards the North (right in front of Gladstone's Restaurant). I was on a stand up paddle board on the inside of Sunset Point. The first breach the shark was primarily vertical and spun its torso exposing the white under belly towards Pacific Coast Highway. The second breach the shark was completely inverted landing on its back. Overall, it was a very amazing sight to behold.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.  

 

San Diego  —  On August 30, 2009 Jon Bunnell and two companion divers were 12 miles due South of San Diego Bay near the ship wreck USS Hogan. It was 10:30 AM with a clear sky and a recorded air temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The water was 135 feet deep with visibility of 30 – 40 feet and a recorded surface temperature of 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Fish speared at a prior location were placed on a line in the water. Bunnell reported; “The three divers were on the bottom at 135 feet with two fish in the water on a stringer tied to the boat. The first diver surfaced and found just two fish heads on the stringer. He observed a Hammerhead Shark circling the boat. The other two divers were doing decompression time noticed the partially eaten fish about 5 minutes after the first diver exited. The shark began to circle both divers in water as they remained somewhat motionless with 15 minutes of decompression time. The shark appeared to be very relaxed. One of the divers thought the shark was a Great Hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran), 8 – 10 feet in length. There was no increased pectoral movement just slowly gliding through the water circling the boat to see if there was more food. It passed the divers on ‘Deco' at approximately 10 feet away and about 15 feet from the surface. After the first diver got on the boat the Hammerhead Shark approached the fish heads again as if sniffing them, that is when the first diver pulled in the fish heads. The two fish were speared on a wreck one mile away and traveled to this dive in the engine well of the boat. There was no apparent blood coming from the fish. Before entering the water for the second dive, the fish were placed in the water on a stringer.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

South Beach, OR  —  On August 29, 2009 Greg Niles of OceanPulseSurf.com reported the following; “At 8 AM I was surfing South Beach, Oregon when I witnessed an attack on a Sea Lion. Other Sea Lions were seen jumping out of the water and swimming as fast as possible just prior to the one taken out. It happened some 200 feet from my location. The shark came up from underneath and had one strike then disappeared with the Sea Lion. I would estimate the shark to be 16 – 18 feet long. We have observed a high number of partially eaten Seals/Sea Lions in and out of the water in the last few weeks along with many Great White sightings. The sky was overcast with the air temperature 60 degrees Fahrenheit and the water 56 degrees Fahrenheit.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Cambria  —  On August 28, 2009 Jim McKell, his son James, and his son's friend Jake Thomas observed an adult White Shark feeding on a seal while fishing off Cambria, located North of Morro Bay in San Luis Obispo County. The following story by Bert Etling appeared in the Tribune News; “The trio went out from Leffingwell Landing at the North end of Moonstone Beach. They headed for a spot off Marine Terrace on the South end of Cambria, where they scuba dived and caught their limit of rock fish. They were in their Zodiac inflatable headed by the port at 10:00 AM. They were about a half mile South of Moonstone Beach and 500 yards from shore near a kelp bed. ‘Then this triangle-shaped head popped out of the water, thrashing the seal right in front of the boat. It took half the seal in one bite and left the other half floating' said Jim McKell. He continued, ‘My Zodiac is 13 feet long and the shark appeared a little bit bigger. I'll never forget it the rest of my life – it was crazy.' The shark then headed toward the boat and that is when McKell opened the throttle on the engine to get away from the shark. The incident was reported to Eric Endersby, Harbor Operations Manager. He said there was not much they can do when the report comes in days after the sighting.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Terramar Beach  —  On August 25, 2009 Bethany Edmund was swimming 250 – 300 feet from shore at Terramar Beach, Carlsbad. It was 4:30 PM and she had been in the water about 10 minutes. The sky was clear with estimated air and water temperatures of 80 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The water was 8 – 10 feet deep with visibility of 5 – 10 feet and a rocky reef-like bottom. Edmund reported the following; “I was swimming in the surf line-up trying to take pictures with a new INTOVA 6.0 mega pixel underwater camera I purchased earlier in the day. I noticed a large, approximately 14 inches in length, Sea Bass jump in front of me. I tried to snap a picture with my camera. Two other swimmers were next to me and saw the same fish jump. About a minute after the fish, I felt a sharp pain in my right foot. Thinking I might have kicked the reef, I shrugged it off and continued taking photographs. About 30 seconds later I felt the same sharp pain and, this time, I began to swim away from the area. I thought I was over a reef and was kicking a sharp portion of it. About a minute later while I was swimming from the area I was hit on the upper right thigh and propelled about 1 foot out of the water. This is when I realized what was happening and began to body surf toward shore. The first wave I caught I felt something in the area of my calf pulling me back and down under water. I thought it might be one of the two swimmers near me, however when I surfaced they were about 10 feet from my location. I ignored what had just occurred and caught another wave to the beach. This time I felt the same sharp pain in my left calf, but this time I was dragged under water and shaken for 4 – 5 seconds. During this struggle I accidently kicked the shark and it released me. The shark was about 6 feet in length with a dark blue/black top and a white belly. I then proceeded to stand up and run out of the water. When I exited the water there was no obvious blood, just swollen areas where I had been hit. The next day I notified James Bilz, Supervisor II Lifeguard, Carlsbad and Encinitas lifeguards Captain Larry Giles and Paul Chapman Lieutenant at Moonlight Headquarters .” ‘Interspace Measurements' and the configuration of the individual tooth punctures to the foot and calf is representative of a juvenile White Shark 5 – 6 feet in length. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —  On August 24, 2009 Scott at SunsetSurf.com received the following information from Jeremiah;“At about 9:30 AM, what was most likely a White Shark, jumped straight up out of the water. I did not see the belly. But it looked 12 to 14 feet in length and pretty bulky. It stayed vertical with the tail probably 5ft out of the water and tilted slightly on the way back down. It was about straight off the point, maybe 300 feet out. A bunch of people who were there went, ‘Whoa! Shark! Did you see that?' It was an impressive reminder of the present and kind of pulled focus into the moment. I definitely clicked on my wide angle and appreciated the clarity, figuratively.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —  On August 23, 2009 Scott at SunsetSurf.com received the following report from Delza; “We were surfing at Sunset around 10AM and high tide was already coming in so the crowd had thinned out. There were about 5 other surfers within 30 yards of me, all of us waiting between sets looking out between the buoy and porta potties. We had seen a couple dolphins cruising around earlier, but then out of nowhere, about 150 yards from the buoy, I saw a big grey and white something shoot straight up like a missile, completely out of the water and splash back down. I turned around and asked everyone "Did you SEE THAT!??" The 4 people around all said yes and one of the shortboarders said ‘Oh, yeah, that's a juvenile white shark' with a nonchalant tone like ‘Oh yeah, they serve seafood at Gladstone's.' Of course everyone went back to surfing. I didn't believe all the reports about sharks breaching and even told my friends last month when we had seen a shark at Sunset, this time about 50 yards inside of the buoy. I thought, ‘Oh come on...the people who are supposedly seeing sharks breaching at Sunset are watching too much Discovery Channel.' Guess that ‘little whitey' just proved me wrong.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Astoria, OR  —  On August 18, 2009, at approximately 5:45 PM, Scott Norby was kite-surfing near the boat wreck ‘Iredale' in Fort Stevens State Park, Astoria, Oregon. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 73 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The surf was about 4 feet with the wind 15 – 20 mph from the Northwest. Norby recounted; “While making an upwind tack in a Northwest direction I noticed a silhouette of a black fin sticking approximately 3 feet out of the water and pointed in a Northerly direction. At the time of the sighting I was approximately 200 yards from shore and the fin was 20 to 50 yards out from my location. The fin appeared to remain motionless as I carefully negotiated my surfboard into a turn. When I had turned around I continued to watch the fin and it remained motionless. As I headed toward shore I rode in as fast as possible while being sure I did not fall. I do not believe the shark noticed me because I could still see the fin from 100 yards away as I was nearing shore. It had not moved much at all. Two other kite-surfers were headed toward the shark and I attempted to wave them down but they did not see me. They eventually made it to the same vicinity I had spotted the fin. They also made their turns and came into shore but I was not able to speak to them to ask if they saw the shark. There were approximately 20 kite-surfers in the water within a 1 mile stretch of beach. But most importantly the commercial fisherman in the area, including myself, are recording record numbers of Coho and Chinook salmon being caught in the Columbia River mouth which is only about 3 miles North of where I saw this shark.“ Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Lincoln City, OR  —  On August 17, 2009 Michael Kirnak was kite boarding at Lincoln City, Oregon. It was 3:30 PM and he had been on the water about 30 minutes. The sky was clear with a brisk 20 knot North wind and a sea swell of about 5 feet. Kirnak reported the following; “ I was kite boarding 200 yards from shore when I saw a number of seals jumping about 50 yards away. I went over to investigate and saw a large shark. The shark was dark gray in color, about 15 feet in length, with a very large girth. I left the area immediately. When I looked behind I saw the shark following me, even though I was moving quite fast, 15 – 20 MPH. It was 10 – 15 feet behind me and followed me for about100 yards. Once I hit the shore break I didn't see the shark again.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Santa Monica  —  On August 15, 2009 Patrick Smith and three companions were anchored 1 mile Southwest of the Santa Monica Pier in water 75 feet deep near the shipwreck ‘ Star of Scotland.' He recorded a sea surface temperature of 61 degrees Fahrenheit and a bottom temperature of 52 degrees Fahrenheit. The sky was overcast and the sea glassy with a very small swell. It was 8:00 AM and they had been at their location about 15 minutes. Smith reported the following; “ Arriving at the Star we anchored up. While pulling on my wetsuit top my friend said, ‘Is that a shark over there?' He pointed to a location 50 yards off our bow. The shark was obviously working a ball of bait as we could see splashes as the smaller fish broke the surface at the shark's approach. We buoyed the anchor line and drifted over to get a better look at the shark. It was a juvenile Great White Shark, about 6 feet in length, dark slate grey with a bluish tine on the back, snow-white belly with distinct demarcation between the two colors. I was close enough to see and count the very large gill slits (5) and clearly observed the prominent caudal peduncles. It appeared that the Great White Shark was feeding on baitfish and mackerel. I managed to get a few photos of the shark which can be seen at the Diver.net BBS - http://diver.net/bbs/posts002/79655.shtml “ Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Ocean Beach  —  On August 13, 2009 Luke Bagan was surfing Kelly's Cove, at the North end of Ocean Beach, San Francisco. It was 11:00 AM and he had been on the water 1.5 hours. It was overcast and breezy with choppy sea conditions. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the low-60s and mid-50s Fahrenheit, respectively. Bagan reported; “I was wading thru the white water to get to the breakers. I was about 200 feet from shore. About 20 feet from me in a breaking wave I saw a shark swimming in the wave. It was 5 to 6 feet long, dark color and a sleek shape not thick like a Great White Shark and not rounded like a dolphin. I lost sight of it after the wave closed out.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Four Mile Beach  —  On August 11, 2009 Robert Adler was at Four Mile Beach, located North of Santa Cruz. It was 7:00 PM with a clear sky and setting sun. Adler reported the following; “About 75 yards from shore I observed one adult seal floating with another smaller seal swimming in the area. The d ead seal was floating about 50 yards from shore.  Then I observed about 10 seconds of thrashing in the water about 75 yards off shore.  I could not determine the size of the shark or its species. About 20 seconds later, a small seal swam towards shore and stayed there, about 15 yards from shore, for duration of my observation which lasted about 20 minutes.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

New Brighton State Beach  —  On August 11, 2009 New Brighton and Seacliff State Beaches, located between Capitola and Rio del Mar in Northern Monterey Bay, were closed for up to seven days after several visitors spotted a shark eating a Porpoise at about 3:10 PM. State Parks Superintendent Kirk Lingenfelter confirmed; “We have confirmed a predatory attack on a marine mammal by a shark. A 4-foot-long, suspected Harbor Porpoise, had washed up on Seacliff Beach not long after the shark had been spotted by visitors.” On Tuesday the animal's carcass was retrieved for analysis by scientists from a Long Marine Laboratory. Veterinarian Dave Casper with the Long Marine Laboratory in Santa Cruz said; “Bites on the porpoise were about 10 inches across and probably were made by a ‘teenage' Great White Shark about 10 – 12 feet in length. We see lots of shark bites on dead carcasses. This is a natural occurrence.” Protocol requires the beaches be closed to all ocean users within one mile of the shark sighting. These two beach closures follow a similar closure of a 3 mile stretch of Stinson Beach on Monday due to shark sightings. It is reported that a similar shark sighting occurred in this same location about a week prior to this incident. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On August 11, 2009 Scott Chambers was Stand Up Paddle Boarding at Dog Patch, San Onofre State Beach. It was 2:00 PM and he had been on the water about 10 minutes. The sky was clear and the sea calm with air and water temperatures estimated in mid-70s and high-60s Fahrenheit, respectively. Chambers recalled; “I was paddling out on my SUP at Dog Patch, San Onofre when I noticed a small shark, maybe 4 feet in length and black, cruising South. About 30 minutes later I was further out waiting for the next set when a much larger shark, 8 – 10 feet in length and black, swam a few feet under the water to the left of my board moving West.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Stinson Beach  —  On August 10, 2009 Golden Gate National Recreation officials noted that they had received two ‘reliable' notifications of sharks in the nearby ocean. As a result, the officials closed the beach “for the next 5 days.” The beach is to remain closed until Saturday (August 15); although they noted that the length of closure could be extended if additional sightings occurred. The species of shark was not determined, but the GGNR did note that Great White Sharks are very common in the area with several unprovoked attacks occurring within this same boundry. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Depoe Bay, OR  —  On August 9, 2009 Dick Teeny caught a 12-foot Great White Shark in his crab pot lines at Depoe Bay, Oregon. It was reported by the Associated Press that the Oregon State Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon State Police were going to continue an investigation into the ‘creature's death.' The State Police noted that under Federal and State Laws, it is illegal to take or possess Great White Sharks. Police in Seaside drove up and down the beach and used loudspeakers to announce a shark sighting. Lt. Dave Ham said; “Lifeguards saw a distinctive dorsal fin and a lifeguard came across a porpoise that had been bitten.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —  On August 8, 2009 Scott at SunsetSurf.com received the following report from Jon; “My friend was surfing Sunset at ‘third point' around 8:30 PM. There were about 5 people were in the water. He turned back to check the surf and saw a 12 inch high dorsal fin exposed out of the water headed his direction. It was coming very quickly. He paddled to shore immediately and the other surfers cleared out within 15 seconds.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Tillamook Bay  —  On August 8, 2009 Lynda Andre and her husband were fishing 2 – 3 miles out from Tillamook Bay, located on the Northwest Coast of Oregon in West Tillamook County, approximately 75 miles West of Portland. The water was about 170 – 190 feet deep and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Andre recalled; “While fishing I got a hard hit on my line with a deep dive and plenty of line being taken out. As I fought to reel it in we thought for sure that it must be a large Chinook but after about 20 minutes of reeling it wasn't close even to the boat. As it came to the surface we realized that it was definitely not a Chinook. It was indeed a seven foot long shark. I thought it was a Blue Shark because of the blue top and white underside. I think we managed a couple pictures of the film in all of the excitement. We did not want it in the boat but were in awe of the size. As we pulled it up to cut the line it snapped and the shark swam away. No worse for wear." Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Huntington State Beach  —  On August 8, 2009 Sean McCabe was surfing near the river jetties at South Huntington State Beach in Orange County. It was 10:30 AM and he had been on the water about 2 hours. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 70 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. It was sunny and clear with a mild 3 – 5 knot breeze. The water was about 6 feet deep over a sandy ocean floor with 10 feet of visibility and 3 – 4 combo swell sea conditions. McCabe recounted; “I was s itting in the lineup when I saw a shadow out of the corner of my eye. I thought it might be from a plane as it went under and behind. As I turned around I saw a large outline heading South at a decent speed, approximately 10-15 MPH in a straight line. I knew it was not a Dolphin, it was way too big, wide and dark gray/black, with the tail moving side to side. Several other surfers in the lineup had gotten out of the water, and they had all seen the same thing. I saw 3 – 4 Dolphins about 5 minutes after the sighting. They seemed to be following the shadow.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Ocean Beach  —  On August 8, 2009 Luke Bagan was surfing Kelly's Cove at Ocean Beach, San Francisco. It was 9:00 AM and he had been on the water about 2 hours. A pinniped moved through the area about 1 hour prior to the incident. It was calm with 2 – 3 foot waves and a water temperature in the upper 50s Fahrenheit. The sky was clear with little or no breeze and an estimated temperature in the low 60s Fahrenheit. Bagan recalled; “I was lying on my surfboard just past the breakers looking West out to sea when I saw a big sharp 2-foot high dorsal fin and the side of a shark and its side fin. The shark was drifting and then rolled to one side. It was dark grey in color. I got out of the water after seeing this.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —  On August 6, 2009 Gerry Wallfesh reported the following; “Déjà vu. A White Shark 6 – 8 feet in length breached at about 10:15 AM around 150 yards North of the buoy at Sunset Beach. We did see a Sea Lion in the line-up around 8:30 AM and there is still a lot of smaller fish, Grunion or Sardines, North of the point.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Will Rogers State Beach  —  On August 5, 2009 Gerry Wallfesh was on his Stand-Up-Paddleboard at Will Rogers State Beach. He reported the following; “I had another sighting today, approximately 350 yards offshore from the Bel Air Bay Club. It was 10:45 AM and I saw a shark swimming very close to the surface. It was, dark blue/black in color, about 6 feet in length and ‘bulkier' than a dolphin. There were no marine mammals in the area, although I had seen a few dolphins very close to shore around 8:00 AM. It was extremely shallow water for the Dolphins, which I thought was strange behavior.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Cape Kiwanda, OR  —  On August 4, 2009 Bette Horishige reported the following; “We just returned from the Oregon coast where we were on holiday for a few days. We were walking on the beach at Cape Kiwanda where we came upon a shark that washed up on shore.  Not sure if it's a shark but another couple who were on the beach said it was.” The shark in the picture is a Salmon Shark (Lamna ditropis), which is common to the Northern Pacific Coast. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Asilomar State Beach  —  On August 4, 2009 Jason Tessler observed the following at Asilomar State Beach, located on the Monterey Peninsula in the city of Pacific Grove; “I saw several beached dead Sea Lions, that were mostly pups and a couple of large adults. All were completely or semi-decapitated and most had large crescent shaped bites (18-24 inches at widest tooth mark) near the ventral side of the hind quarters. Biologists will sometimes remove the snout of a beached seal/ sea lion for observation of age and health through dental research. Some of the sea lions I observed had only their snouts removed while others had distinctly violent/ shredded characteristics to the wounds which left them headless. Sea Otters, Harbor Seals, and Sea Lions also observed within 50 yards from shore nearby.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Klamath River  —  On August 2, 2009 Ian Jewett reported the following; “My girlfriend and I spotted a Great White Shark from the outlook point on Klamath Beach Road/Coastal Drive about 20 miles South of Crescent City in Del Norte County. The shark was 20 – 40 yards from shore moving North toward the mouth of the Klamath River. We observed the shark for a little over a minute before it disappeared out of our line of view. The day was calm and the silhouette was easy to see as it was a sunny day and the waters were fairly clear. The shark never broke the surface and appeared to be about 10 – 15 feet in length. This is a very rough estimate as we were on top of a lookout point about 200 feet above the surface of the water. My length comparison comes from a rock that the shark passed, which appeared to be about 5 feet in diameter.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Ocean Beach  —  On August 2, 2009 Matt at SurfPulse.com received the following report from Robert Hatch; “Today my friend, Robert Cuadra, and I were out at Ocean Beach at Rivera Street, San Francisco, about 1:00 PM. When I caught a glimpse out of the corner of my eye of a dorsal fin that did a quick thrash like it came up to grab a fish. I saw it and knew right off the bat it wasn't a dolphin fin and or smooth dolphin movement. There were a lot of birds right in the area so there must have been smaller feeder fish available. The dorsal was black, sharply pointed, and about 18 inches high so gauging it to maybe be 6 – 8 feet. Bobby was paddling back out when I spotted it and I gently started padding in and told Bobby what I had seen and to paddle softly out of the water. Bobby told a rookie girl on her way in who made a joke of it at first so Bobby had told her again he was in no way kidding and not to paddle out right there.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Pt. Lobos  —  On August 2, 2009 Margaret Peterson was visiting Pt. Lobos State Reserve in Monterey County. It was about 10:00 AM and the sky was clear with little or no wind. There was an abundance of kelp canopies with an undetermined number of pinnipeds hauled out on nearby rocks. Peterson reported; “I was standing on a ledge about 15 feet from the water observing a jellyfish in the kelp, when a shark swam into view. The shark was slim, silver/blue tone and 5 – 6 feet in length. I think it was a blue shark from the web pictures I have studied.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —  On August 1, 2009 Scott at SunsetSurf.com received a second report from Gerry; “A second shark sighting today. Again like the first, it breached about 150 yards beyond the buoy at Sunset Beach around 9:45 AM on Saturday, August 1st. The shark had a white belly and was 6 – 8 feet in length. Similar to the first sighting.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Ocean Shores, WA  —  On July 31, 2009 Rick Chastain, his 4 year old son Cooper and 15 year old niece Kiara Drake were in between Damon Road and beach access West Chance A La Mer NW, Ocean Shores at Grays Harbor, Washington. There was a light fog with over a mile of visibility. It was 2:30 PM and the air temperature was approximately 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Chastain reported the following ; “I was watching three to four whales, about 300 yards off the shore, when I caught a glimpse of a dorsal fin in the breakers. As I watched more than one appeared, usually 30 – 40 feet apart from each other. They were traveling across the water rather than up and down. Then as we were watching a seal appeared between us and the sharks. We watched as the sharks would roll in the waves as they were breaking. The sharks would roll and the seal would show up 50 feet or so in either direction. They were actively chasing it up and down the shore. One shark would roll and before it made it under another would surface from the other direction. Then we would see another approximately 30 – 40 feet away from where the first had surfaced. I was watching the Seagulls and it did not seem that they were able to pick up any scraps. At least while I was there. We watched for an hour and they were still actively surfacing when we left. Whether they caught the seal or not I have no idea. But the seal kept surfacing quite aways from where the sharks were each time. I believe there was only one seal. There were many, many people enjoying the warm weather. Many were surfing with long boards and body boards, as well as using boogie boards. Most of them had no idea what was only 100 feet away from them. The sharks appeared to be 12 – 15 feet in length with a dark colored back and dorsal fin and a white underbelly.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.  

 

Sunset Beach  —  On July 30, 2009 Scott at SunsetSurf.com received the following report Gerry; “There was a routine ‘shark breaching' about 150 yards beyond the buoy at Sunset around 10:45 AM on Thursday, July 30. The shark had a white belly and was 6 – 8 feet in length.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Avila Beach  —  On July 30, 2009 Dave Guinan reported the following; “I was at Avila Beach in San Luis Obispo County on July 30 and noticed printed signs along the beach stating ‘SHARK ATTACK ON SEA LION SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK. According to a TV account, the shark was estimated to be 15 feet in length. I have noticed a great deal of bait in the water the last week or so with huge bait balls at Shell and Avila Beach.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

La Jolla  —  On July 29, 2009 the following report was received from S. Banken; “I was at Big Rock Reef in La Jolla surfing. It was 7:00 PM and there was a fisherman off beach North about 100 yards. I obseved 2 other people out before I entered the water. It was overcast with a grey marine layer. I caught one wave, paddled out waiting for sets. I stayed out, it was 150 feet in channel and I hung out to try to catch another wave but sets stopped – higher tide.  As I looked for an insider, I saw a grey round top fin coming at me from the beach, maybe 15 feet away, so I booked it in belly boarding. The fin had a rounded top, grey about 4-5 inches out of water.  Not sure what kind it was. I bellied a wave in fairly quickly to shore.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —  On July 29, 2009 Scott at SunsetSurf.com received the following report from Arthur Gu; “This morning the Great White Shark breached at 7:00 AM and again at 7:20 AM. It was about 40 – 50 yards North of the pink buoy.  I got a real good look at it on the first breach and could clearly see its white underbelly.  He's (the shark) been spotted so much that no one seemed particularly bothered by the sighting.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Venice Beach  —  On July 28, 2009 K. McGrath was body boarding/surfing at the Venice Beach Pier at Washington Blvd. at the end of the parking lot South of the pier. It was about 6:20 PM and he had been on the water about 25 minutes. It was sunny with a light breeze and an air temperature in the low-70s Fahrenheit. The water was 8 – 10 feet deep over a sandy ocean floor with a temperature in the mid-60s Fahrenheit. The surf was about 3 feet with similar water visibility. Mc Garth reported; “My wife was on the beach with a pair of binoculars and I was about 100 yards from shore. She later told me she felt scared and panicked when she saw a large dark dorsal fin. She watched the "fin" moving closer to the surfers then move back out to sea. She said this carried on for approximately 5 minutes. When she signaled to me I thought she was waving at me, which gave me courage to swim out to the other surfers. I managed to catch a few nice waves. I never saw the mysterious large dorsal fin attached to the ‘large, black fish.' But I did notice that those two surfers moved closer to shore by the time I had joined them. I was out farther than them for the next twenty minutes. Maybe they knew something I did not know. The men close to the ‘great, big black fish with a huge dorsal fin' were waiting for a set of waves then riding sloppy and short. One man body surfed and one body boarded with a white boogie board. Both were treading water and then swimming to catch waves.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.  

 

Sunset Beach  —  On July 27, 2009 Scott at SunsetSurf.com received the following report from Alan; “ Today at around 6:30 AM at Sunset Beach I witnessed a full breach by a shark about 200 yards off the point lineup. Details are the same as previous sightings.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Davenport Landing  —  On July 24, 2009 Peter Barry was surfing Davenport Landing. It was 1:00 PM and he had been on the water about 30 minutes. The sky was clear with the air temperature in the low-70s Fahrenheit. The water was about 8 feet deep with a light chop to the sea surface and a temperature in the mid-60s Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area prior to the encounter. Barry recalled; “I was surfing at Davenport inside of two surfers who were farther out on the reef. I saw a shark's dorsal fin just about 20 yards past the two surfers who were further out to sea. I recognize dolphins and seals all the time and this was neither. The fin I saw was moving from North to South, black in color, and about 15 inches high. After several seconds it submerged. I told the other surfers and got out.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee. 

 

Palos Verdes  —  On July 24, 2009 Patrick Griffin was en route to Catalina Island with 11 companions on board his boat. It was 9:30 AM under a sunny, clear, sky with a mild breeze. They were about 200 yards from shore off the coast of Palos Verdes. Griffin reported the following; “ While en route to Catalina Island, with a total of 11 people on board, I noticed marine activity to the port side of our course. I believed that a pod of Dolphins were feeding or playing just below the cliffs of Palos Verdes. So, I called all of the guests up to the bow and turned the boat so they could get a better look. As we turned I realized that the mammals were not Dolphins, but Sea Lions, swimming as fast as I've ever seen Sea Lions swim. All of a sudden, a Great White Shark burst from beneath the surface of the water, its entire body crested through the air. It turned at an angle and with an enormous splash it smashed down, jaws first, on the Sea Lion it had been pursuing. The event was over in a moment, but the 11 of us standing on the bow will never forget what we witnessed that day. It was amazing. Four of our guests, visiting from Texas, had never seen the ocean before this trip. It must have been an awe inspiring first impression.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On July 23, 2009 L.L. Wickham was surfing ‘Old Man's' at San Onofre State Beach. It was about 1 PM and she had been on the water 20 – 30 minutes. The sky was clear with an estimated air temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The ocean was glassy, inconsistent 2 – 4 foot surf, with an estimated temperature in the upper 60s Fahrenheit and a algal bloom, bright green, that limited water visibility to about 5 feet. No marine mammals were observed in the area. There were approximately 60 surfers at the location. Wickham reported; “I was one of the surfers furthest from shore and many other surfers ‘outside' Old Man's surf break. We were waiting for a set wave when we saw a shark jump about 20 feet from us. I saw it very clearly in the sunshine. It was approximately 4 - 5 feet long, dark blue dorsally and white ventrally. It jumped 5 – 6 feet in the air, breached, and then it disappeared. I thought it was a Mako Shark but many others thought it was a 'baby White Shark'. It definitely looked to be in that family. I have identified sharks before but am no expert, plus; I only saw it for a few seconds. It was very beautiful. Only a few people paddled in. The pack of surfers stayed out all afternoon and, apparently, it did not reappear. I surfed for about another hour before leaving the lineup. As I said, I thought it was a Mako Shark but did not see it long enough to see fins well.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.  

 

Sunset Beach  —  On July 23, 2009 Scott at SunsetSurf.com received the following report from Jamie Murray; “I saw one of those White Shark breaches this morning....way out toward the point past the buoy line. Someone else who saw it said he thought the shark was about 9 feet in length.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —  On July 23, 2009 Scott at SunsetSurf.com received the following report from Raun; “There was a shark sighting today at Sunset Beach around 7:15 AM. I was looking out for incoming waves and saw the creature jump out of the water as if it was going after prey. I don't think I was the only one to see it as some of us paddled in a little closer to shore, but still surfed afterwards.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On July 22, 2009 Briana Madden provided the following information to the SRC; “ While I was surfing at Dog Patch, San Onofre State Beach, between 7:30 – 8:00 PM, I saw a shark jump out of the water about 30 – 40 yards from the outside surf break.  It was kind of blue in color and we thought it was a Mako Shark.  I only saw it that one time.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Pacifica State Beach  —   On July 22, 2009 Mark Shotwell was surfing at Pacifica State Beach located South of San Francisco. It was 6:00 PM and he had been on the water about 30 minutes. It was overcast and foggy with a moderate wind and an estimated air temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea was choppy and 5 – 7 feet deep at the encounter location with the water temperature estimated in the low-50s Fahrenheit. Shotwell recalled; “I was paddling on my surfboard and surfing very sloppy and short-ride waves. While sitting on my board I watched as a fascinating confrontation took place between a small shark and a bull Sea Lion. I thought I had seen something that resembled a small shark a couple of times 20 – 30 feet from me out of the corner of my eye but each time I looked it was headed under water quite fast. Then this event with the bull Sea Lion occurred. The bull looked very large, maybe 1000 pounds or more, and obviously very aggressive with the shark. The Sea Lion attacked the shark from below and proceeded to violently bite the shark in the middle and shake it above its head and then take it just under water and then repeat. When the bull first hit the shark there was a very foul stench that was present for about a minute. There were many birds, baitfish and very small (quarter size) jellyfish in the water. Several other surfers confirmed they also thought the shark looked like a baby Great White.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On July 22, 2009 John Gugliotta was fishing from his kayak 1/4 mile North of the power plant domes near the end of the parking area at San Onofre State Beach. It was 2 PM and he had been on the water for about 7 hours. The sky was clear with a mild 3 – 5 Knot breeze and an estimated air temperature of 85+ degrees Fahrenheit. The ocean was calm, 11 feet deep, with 5 feet of water visibility and a temperature of about 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Gugliotta reported the following ; “I was fishing off my kayak at San Onofre State Beach, just outside of the breaking waves, about 60 yards away from all the surfers. While fishing, I just happened to glance over the right side of my kayak to look at a Halibut that I just caught about 30 minutes earlier. I had the fish on a 5 foot lanyard. I saw a 5 – 7 foot shark, with a black back and about 2 feet wide, approaching my fish. I quickly grabbed the lanyard and pulled the fish on top of water and onto my lap. At this point the shark surfaced. I panicked and grabbed my paddle and tried to paddle away. The shark was spooked. It made a big splash with its tail and swam away. I believe the shark was being inquisitive, at the fish hanging on the side, the shark was never aggressive! All this occurred in a period of 15 – 20 seconds.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —  On July 22, 2009 Scott at SunsetSurf.com received the following report from Kerry Buchman; “As with the last few sightings, I also saw a White Shark, about 6 – 7 feet long, breach completely out of the water today exposing its white belly and dark sides with its mouth slightly open. Someone asked, ‘What was that?' I replied that it was a White Shark. We were between the point and Dos Banos at 8:30 AM and the shark was about halfway between us and the buoy. They remarked that they had seen it earlier that morning. I got out while the others, about 30 surfers, stayed in the water.” Michael Levine filed a corroborating report for this location and time. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Manhattan Beach  —   On July 21, 2009 Asher Ehsani was surfing El Porto, Manhattan Beach. It was 4:30 PM and he had been on the water about one hour. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the mid-70s and 60s Fahrenheit, respectively. Water was about 9 feet deep with a sandy ocean bottom and a 3 – 4 foot swell. He was about 100 yards from shore when 2 Sea Lions swam past him at a distance of 5 feet. Ehsani reported; “I was surfing El Porto for about an hour when I noticed a few Sea Lions swimming by me.  I didn't make anything of it.  About 20 minutes later I noticed a HUGE shark, I am 100% confident it was NOT A DOLPHIN.  I have been surfing for years, and encountered many dolphin. What I saw was a giant Dark Blue/Black Shark AT LEAST 12 feet in length it was probably about 50 feet away from me. Its dorsal fin was approximately 20 inches high and the tail was about 15 inches out of the water. I was waiting for the next set of waves with 15 other surfers.  I immediately left the scene, reported it to the lifeguard.  He kind of brushed it off seeming like he didn't want to scare anyone.  In the last week I have encountered more sharks in SOCAL then I have in the last 10 years.  It seems that sharks are feeding here a lot more than they were before.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On July 21, 2009 Mike Garrett was surfing Old Man's at San Onofre State Beach. It was 4:30 PM and he had only been on the water 10 minutes. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the mid-70s and 60s Fahrenheit, respectively. The sky was clear with a 2 – 3 foot swell and a slight chop. The water was about 10 feet deep with a primarily sandy bottom and a few cobblestones. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Garrett recalled; “ I was sitting on my board among 15 – 20 other surfers.  We spotted the small fin outside of the lineup, maybe 15 feet away.  I then noticed the other larger shark swimming diagonally from my left toward my front, about 5 feet away.  After 20 seconds or so it swam back in the same direction, from in front of me to my left.  It was moving slow, 3 – 4 feet below the surface and didn't seem to notice me at all.  Someone in the water said it was a White Shark, but from our view it would be hard to know, unless the person was an expert on sharks, however they may have had a better view. I saw the dorsal fin of the smaller shark, which was 3 – 4 inches in height. I would estimate the size of this shark to be 3 feet at the most. The larger shark was 6 – 7 feet in length and grey in color. Several other witnesses thought it was about that size.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Venice Beach  —   On July 21, 2009 Matt at SurfPulse.com received the following report from Felipe Osorio; “I was in the waters off Venice Beach when I began hearing loud splashes about 20 feet away from me and 50 – 70 yards from the beach. I looked up and saw a seal jump up and down twice about 4 feet into the air. At first I assumed the activity to be some form of mating or feeding, simply because there was a lot of violent splashing. After the seal jumped up, about 4 feet out of the water, for the second time, I saw a dorsal fin stick out, and the outline of the shark was noticeable right after the loud scream of the seal. The seal let out a very loud 'scream' within seconds of the second jump. After the seal disappeared and the water splashing calmed down, you could see an obvious dark gray figure under the water. Assuming that the seal was 3 feet long, the shark looked to be at least 4 times its size or at least12 feet in length and dark gray in color. You could see the outline of the shark for another 8 seconds. Strangely enough, the shark seemed to be still for that length of time before it disappeared in the water.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On July 20, 2009 Justin Wang was Stand Up Paddleboarding at Dogpatch, San Onofre State Beach. It was 4:30 PM and he had been on the water about one hour. There was a 2 – 3 foot swell, clean conditions, with 10 – 15 feet of water visibility. Water and air temperatures were estimated in the low 60s and mid-70s Fahrenheit, respectively, with a mild 5 knot breeze. A couple of divers were spearing fish near his location. Wang recounted; “I was about 150 yards out in front of the 2 domes at the San Onofre nuclear facilities.  I was paddling in, trying to catch a wave. I did not make the wave and I looked to my right and there was a shark swimming along side of me underwater, about 3 – 4 feet, for about 20 seconds. The shark was about 6 feet from me, 6 – 8 feet in length with a grey back and some white on the side. It was very round in girth. Then the shark swam under my board quickly, turned around and swam under my board again. I got down on my knees and paddled back to shore. I could not see the shark anymore from that angle, just hoping to get to shore as fast as possible. On the beach I spoke with a spear fisherman who had an encounter, he thought, with the same shark earlier in the day. He thought it was either a Mako or Great White Shark. He said it was about 8 feet in length and kept coming in on him trying to remove his fish pouch. He said he poked it a few times before he came to shore. I reported it to the lifeguard and he just said, ‘they're out there.' I also told a kayaker on the beach and he went out to inform 2 people that were snorkeling.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —  On July 20, 2009 Scott at SunsetSurf.com received the following report Chad Lowe; “Surfing with my fiancée today around 12:00 PM at Sunset Beach just South of Gladstone's Restaurant when I witnessed a 6 – 8 foot shark breach completely out of the water about 200 yards out. It was dark gray on top and spun around exposing its white underbelly as it crashed back into the water causing a large splash. We had read the earlier shark sightings from this web site and both thought it was B.S.! Probably people lying trying to scare people to thin the crowd of surfer, or just mistaking dolphins for sharks we thought. I cannot say for sure that what I saw was a Great White Shark, but I can say for sure that it was definitely NOT a dolphin.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On July 19, 2009 Justin Weber was surfing a long board to the right of the lifeguard tower at the point San Onofre State Beach. Water and air temperatures were estimated at 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The sky was clear and the sea calm with the water depth 10 – 12 feet and visibility 8 – 10 feet. It was 6:30 PM and he had been on the water about 1.5 hours. Schools of ‘baitfish' were observed in the area. Weber reported the following; “I paddled out and heard two people talking about some shark incidents that happened days prior. After about 45 minutes a gentlemen and I started to talk about how nice the water was. I then asked about the sharks that I heard about earlier. We then chuckled and continued surfing. About 25 minutes later I noticed the water swirl about 25 yards in front of me and saw a fin. I thought it might be a seal so I just stayed there and watched. It went back down and as a man paddled across in front of me it surfaced by him and he yelled ‘Shark'! It was only a baby about 5 to 6 feet long and very fat. I paddled away and caught the next wave in to talk to the life guard.“ Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —  On July 19, 2009 Scott at SunsetSurf.com received the following report from Tyler; “ I was Stand Up Paddleboarding on Sunday, the 19 th , when, at about 1:00 PM, I saw a 7 foot White Shark breach clear out of the water about 300 yards from the pink buoy.  Its tail was at least 4 feet out of the water putting its head 11 feet or so out of the water - spectacular!  This is now the 3rd time I have seen a shark feeding at Sunset.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On July 18,2009 Andy Mulay was surfing at Old Mans, San Onofre State Beach, just North of the power plant. It was 2:00 PM and he had been on the water about 30 minutes. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the low 70s and upper 60s Fahrenheit, respectively. The sky was clear and there was a light chop to the sea surface. The water was 6 – 8 feet deep, over a sandy ocean bottom with 5 – 6 feet of water visibility. Mulay reported the following; “I was surfing Old Man's and had surfed several waves and paddled several meters outside of the other surfers to get in position for a larger set wave. I was sitting on my board waiting for a set wave when I noticed the shark swim directly below me.  The shark was swimming slowly away from the shore. The shark was at least 6 feet in length, or slightly larger, and was dark grey on top. I do not know what species. Once I realized it was a shark I started paddling calmly toward shore. I notified several other surfers in the area that I had spotted a shark, but nobody seemed to mind and kept right on surfing.  I reported the shark to the life guard and he mentioned that I was the third person to report a shark that day.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Point  —  On July 18, 2009 Scott at SunsetSurf.com received the following report from Kim Welsh; “This morning around 6:50 AM and 150 yards Southwest of Sunset Point at Gladstones, a shark 5 – 6 feet in length jumped completely out of the water. It had a white belly and a dark gray back. I had seen the same thing about 10 days prior West of the pink buoy but had only seen the last second of the shark splashing down after breaching.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —  On July 17, 2009 Scott at SunsetSurf.com received the following report from Jon; “I'm a local at Sunset Beach and I saw a shark, around 2 or 3 PM, breach out the water and land on its side. It was 7 – 8 feet in length and had a white belly. The shark looked like it was trying to get prey.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Churches  —   On July 17, 2009 Marcus Sanders at Surfline.com received the following report from Eric Benson; “I wasn't sure how or where to post this comment, but it may do some good for someone. Could you please post this in the appropriated location? I have been a local San Clemente surfer for over 30 years and I surf the Trestles area at least three times a week. I have seen many interesting things related to sea life in those years, but today takes the prize. I was surfing at Churches, San Onofre State Beach at around 12:30 PM today right at the point. The swell was on the rise and the wind was just picking up. I was looking out to sea for the next set and about 80 – 100 yards out I noticed a triangular shape fin cruising on the surface. It was heading in a Southerly direction on the surface for about eight seconds. After it disappeared I waited for it to surface again, but it did not. I caught a wave and paddled back out, and told another surfer what I saw and he and I got out. The two of us got to the beach and began to walk South; we scanned the horizon and saw a seal swimming inside the surf line (just inside the cross) it was heading North in a hurry, like something was chasing it. After I saw the seal in panic mode I thought I would share this information with the lifeguard at the first station South of the cross. There were three life guards there and I spoke to one and his response was that this was the second report in two weeks. I was surprised he did not immediately get in his truck and go to the point and at least check it out, or even lift his binoculars to take a look. In fact his response was completely complacent. Let our fellow surfers know this was a shark. Keep your eyes open and look out for yourself.”  Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Point  —  On July 16, 2009 Miles Kelly was surfing and his wife, Rachel, was Stand Up Paddleboarding at Sunset Point, Sunset Beach, Los Angeles. It was 11:15 AM and they had been on the water about 2 hours. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the mid-70s and upper 60s Fahrenheit, respectively. The ocean was slightly choppy with small surf and it was close to high tide. Dolphins were observed near Sunset Point by the orange buoy in front of the lifeguard stand and Rachel saw a large school of fish, species unknown, swim beneath her at the point. Miles reported ; “I was sitting on my board waiting for the infrequent sets. My wife was standing up on her board and paddling out by the orange buoy (300 feet out I believe) when a shark breached fully out of the water within 25 yards of her and about 80 yards from me. The shark was not overly long, maybe 7 or 8 feet, but it was very big around with a blunted nose. It was on its side in the air and I only saw the underside which was bright white. Neither of us saw an animal that it may have been preying on.  It was not aggressive toward either of us. My wife immediately turned and paddled in to me and we stayed there in the shallower water for another 20 minutes or so. There was another paddle boarder in the water at the time that did not see it, and three other surfers who also missed the sighting.  We did not see the shark after the initial breach.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —  On July 16, 2009 Scott at SunsetSurf.com received the following report from Keith W.; “Today I saw what I believe to be a White Shark breach completely out of the water this morning at Sunset Beach. Only a few of us in the water and it was about 8:30 AM directly out from the Gladstone's Restaurant parking lot. Hard to gauge the size of the shark, but I'm guessing at least 7 feet. I was in the water at Sunset Beach when the shark breached on July 9th but only saw the splash, though a friend of mine saw the whole thing. Described exactly what I saw today. I have been surfing in the area for 5 years and have seen plenty of dolphins, but never anything like this.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On July 15, 2009 Eric Tremaine was Stand Up Paddleboarding at the South end of San Onofre State Beach, South of Dogpatch and North of the power plant. It was 11:30 AM and he had been on the water 1.5 hours. He observed 4 – 6 Dolphins in the area prior to the encounter. The water was 10 – 15 feet deep with 20 – 30 of visibility and an estimated temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The sky was clear with an air temperature in the mid-70s Fahrenheit. Tremaine recalled; “The surf was super small so I decided to paddle out past the surf approximately, 50 – 100 yards out.  I paddled over the sandy areas for about 20 minutes when I saw the shadow of large fish.  I paddled over and saw that it was a shark.  For approximately 15 – 20 minutes I paddled with ‘her'.  We covered approximately a quarter mile.  The visibility was good enough so see the features of what could be a Great White.  I was on my 9'6" stand up paddle board and ‘she' was about a foot smaller.  At times she was a paddle length way (7feet) and seemed as curious as me.  Two times she circled around the back of my board and I repositioned myself in a less precarious place.  We started to get into deeper water, with more seagrass and ‘she' began blending in so I paddled back to the north.  No contact was made.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On July 13, 2009 Diane Wenzel and several companions were Stand Up Paddleboarding in the paddle craft area off Dogpatch at San Onofre. It was mid-morning and she had been on the water about 45 minutes. The ocean was very calm with flat surf, water visibility 5 – 6 feet, and the temperature in the upper 60's Fahrenheit. There was an abundance of sea life, including fish and rays. The sky was clear with an air temperature estimated in the low 70s Fahrenheit. Wensel reported; “About 6 of us were out on SUPs and kayaks.  My friend Tracy Engleking paddled out just past the lineup where the waves were breaking. She saw the shark and paddled in.  About 20 minutes later, another woman who went outside to paddle came in saying she saw the shark. I was curious. One of the kayakers paddled out just ahead of me and said he saw it swim under him. I paddled out about 30 feet from the kayaker toward some bubbles I saw on the surface of the water. The water was really clear but deep enough that I couldn't see the bottom, maybe 10 – 15 feet.  I was 25 feet past the lineup (where the waves were breaking and the bottom was visible - 4-6 ft. of water).  I was paddling slowly – looking for the shark – for less than 4 minutes. I started to turn around to head back to the lineup when the shark casually swam under me from behind.  It seemed like she had been following me. She just cruised past. The shark was 6 – 8 feet in length, had a dark gray body, lots of girth, and a very large triangle dorsal fin 12 – 16 inches high. Gregg McLaughlin, Lara and Brent Pascoe, Brett Fereday and Robert were others on SUP boards that were on the water and aware of what was going on during the 4 sightings.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Carlsbad  —  On July 13, 2009 Austin De La Luz reported the following; “My friend and I were boogie boarding at Pine Street in Carlsbad when we observed this seal/sea lion on the beach covered with a white sheet. It appeared to have been bitten by a shark.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

La Jolla  —   On July 12, 2009 Scuba Diver's Chris Hitt and dive companion Brian R., were just inside the ¼ mile yellow buoy at La Jolla Shores, San Diego. Hitt's dive equipment consisted of a wetsuit, booties, gloves, BC, silver steel air tank, regulator and white manta fins. Water depth was 29 feet with a temperature in the low 50s Fahrenheit and visibility of 10 – 15 feet. The sea surface was glassy smooth with a heavy marine layer, requiring they use a compass during the return trip to shore. They had been in the water about 45 minutes and believed it to be between 10:00 and 11:00 AM. Kelp plants were scattered generously throughout the area. Several pinnipeds were observed prior to the encounter. Hitt recalled; “We'd been diving 30+ minutes and I was at the surface. The day had gone from slightly overcast to a heavy marine layer. I could not see the shore of the cove, although I could see the white 1/4 mile buoy. Brian surfaced and we decided due to the overcast we would swim our way to shore using the compass. We were swimming along the ocean bottom for a couple minutes when Brian stopped and backed up. He was to my left. At this point we were both ‘standing' on the ocean floor. I turned to see what he was looking at, and 10 – 15 feet away was a large shark approaching very slowly. It closed to within arm length and just kind of stopped, hovering several feet off the ocean floor, possibly chest high to me. I remember thinking that it looked too large and mean to be a Soupfin Shark. I kept it in front of me and made no sudden movements. After 30 – 60 seconds (which seemed like forever) it lost interest, turned to its left and swam off very slowly at around the same ‘height' off the ocean floor as it had been when it encountered us. That's when I noticed the scars and the elongated tail with a spear tip at the end. The shark was more robust - girthy. It was gray/silver, with a slight tint of blue, on the dorsal surface gradually turning to white underbelly. It was at such a height where I could tell the shape of its head circumference wise, and it was at least a foot, if not a foot and a half in diameter. From viewing straight on, it was rounded, seemed thick, and robust, unlike the Soupfins which seem thinner and angular. Teeth showed in a way I would describe as ‘outside the mouth.'” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Manhatten Beach  —   On July 12, 2009 Jamie Tyndall reported the following; “I saw my first shark today at Manhattan Beach, while surfing between 35th and 30th Streets. The dorsal fin popped up about 25 feet from the line up and coasted for about 30 feet heading South towards the Manhattan Beach Pier. The dorsal fin was about 2 feet high, dark blue-black in color, and had nicks (missing pieces) in the trailing edge of the fin. THIS WAS NOT FLIPPER. I have seen many Dolphins, even have had them tag me on my board and had the pleasure of them swimming around me blowing water out of their blow holes. This thing was big and it wasn't a Dolphin. It was a large shark and it was putting out a bit of a wake as well. It moved very straight and fast, 30 – 40 feet at the surface before diving. It was kind of funny that none of the surfers that saw it, including myself, left the water. We all just stared at each other in disbelief. I do have to say that I was in total awe.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

La Jolla  —   On July 11, 2009 Kelly O'Sullivan and an unidentified companion were swimming near the 1/2 mile buoy between La Jolla Cove and La Jolla Shores. The sky was clear with an estimated air temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It was 10:30 AM and they had been in the water about 30 minutes. The ocean was calm with a slight swell with 7 – 8 feet of visibility and an estimated temperature in the mid-60s Fahrenheit. O'Sullivan reported; “Just before seeing the shark's fins, we dove to a depth of 5 – 6 feet to look at a large Bat Ray (3' across) that swam underneath us. We came up to the surface and I saw the fins, about 8 – 10 feet from us, on top of the water. I looked around for kayakers or other swimmers but saw none. The shark circled us once, at about the same distance, and we started swimming away from it, towards the Cove beach. I was swimming erratically and kept flipping over onto my back to see if it was close to us. It followed us, at about a distance of 10 feet, for maybe 30-60 seconds and then I put my head down and swam as fast and smoothly as I could. When I turned around again at the 1/4 mile buoy to see if it was still around, it was not.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On July 11, 2009 Brian Hovnanian and companion Lance E. were Stand Up Paddleboarding at the reef South of Dogpatch, San Onofre State Beach. It was 8:30 AM and they had been on the water 1.5 hours. It was sunny with little or no wind and an air temperature in the low-70s Fahrenheit. The ocean was calm and glassy with water visibility 4 – 5 feet and a temperature in the upper-60s Fahrenheit. They were about 50 yards from shore over water about 6 feet deep with a sandy, rocky bottom. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Hovnanian reported: “I was paddle surfing at the reef South of Dogpatch, with one other paddle surfer, Lance E. I have had many shark sittings of 5' to 6' sharks jumping all of the way out of the water at this same place for the last 2 months, as I paddle surf their a couple times a week. I had not seen any today and did not see this one coming. We both had just ridden waves in from a nice set. As I was paddling out, my friend was paddling about 30 feet behind me when all of a sudden it felt like something hit the back of my SUP, then slammed into the back of my left calf, forcing me to lose my balance and I feel backwards. The shark was now on top of my SUP and I was lying backwards on top of the shark, as it was on my board. The shark slithered off the board back into the water. This all happened so fast, and I believe when I fell on the shark, it scared it and it tried to get away from the board and me. I still had my paddle in my hand, jumped to my feet on my board and looked at my leg, to notice nothing had happened to my body or board. By now my friend had paddled quickly to me and could not believe what he had just seen right in front of him. He made sure I was OK, luckily I was, then we paddled back out to the line-up and caught a wave from the next set and paddled in thinking how lucky I was. I'm not sure what kind of shark it was, but it did have a gray back and white underside and was about 5 feet in length. It might have been a Mako or White Shark.” By definition an unprovoked shark attack is “any physical contact between a shark and human, or piece of equipment being utilized by a human, without any know provocative action by the subject which might cause the shark to strike out.” This is the second authenticated unprovoked shark attack for 2009 from the Pacific Coast of North America. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On July 9, 2009 Gregg McLaughlin was Stand Up Paddleboarding at Dogpatch, San Onofre State Beach. The sky was clear with an estimated air temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The water was 10 feet deep with a rocky/sandy bottom and an estimated temperature in the upper 60s Fahrenheit. It was 6:00 PM and he had been on the water about 20 minutes. McLaughlin recalled; “A White Shark, about 8 feet in length, swam directly underneath me. I was standing on my paddle board at the time. The shark was in no hurry, and I was able to get a good look. It was about 5 feet below the surface of the water. I didn't do anything, just stayed where I was. I was in the water for another 15 – 20 minutes and I did not see it again.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On July 9, 2009 Tom Holbrook filed the following report; “At about 2 PM I was SUP at Dogpatch with three other surfers. It was hot and sunny; the water was warm, though I do not know the temperature. I noticed a lot of baitfish activity in the water and was in about 5 feet of water paddling back out to the take off spot. I had been in the water about one hour. Something caught my eye. I looked down next to me and saw a 6 foot plus Great White Shark, a bit on its side, looking up at me. It was under the surface, parallel to my 9-3 SUP board, then it turned and went under me to the right towards another paddler about 20 yards away. I yelled to him to look down and ‘watch out' – he saw the shark as well. I was able to identify the species of shark to be a Great White by the black eye, gill openings, distinct white belly and the teeth. In the past I have owned boats and fished specifically for Mako and Thresher Sharks, along with Blue Sharks, so I have seen the differences between their fins, eye's, teeth, coloration, and behaviors. I have friends that have also observed sharks at Dogpatch.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —  On July 9, 2009 Michael Sanville was surfing in front of the stairs at Sunset Beach. It was 7:00 AM and he had been on the water about 40 minutes. It was sunny with a mild breeze. Air and water temperatures were estimated to be in the low 70s and 60s Fahrenheit respectively. Sanville reported the following: “I was sitting on my board a little further out then normally because of where the waves were breaking. It was the ideal spot. I was scanning the horizon for lines when I saw something break the surface. Its mouth was open as it cleared the surface by at least 2 feet. It was a Great White Shark, 7 – 8 feet in length, a white belly and grey on top. Its dorsal fin was also clearly visible.  Then it crashed back into the water. It happened about 30 yards or so away from the pink buoy and approx 50 – 75 yards from me. There weren't too many people in the water at the time. The man next to me saw the splash but NOT the shark.  I turned and paddle closer to shore. No one else did.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Point Reyes  —  On July 9, 2009 Caitlin Dyckman reported the following; “My fiancé and I were hiking out past Abbotts Lagoon in Point Reyes National Seashore at about 2 PM. It was fair and breezy. We noticed several large carrion birds, vultures to be exact, on what appeared to be a large lump of wood near the water, about half way between the shoreline and Abbotts Lagoon. I walked over to investigate and the birds flew off.  The ‘wood' was actually a large, decomposing sea lion whose eyes and brain were already eaten. As I walked around the side, I saw the huge holes in its neck. It appears to have been attacked by a Great White Shark, given the bite size. The seal apparently succeeded in escaping but proceeded to exsanguinate on the beach. The holes were likely enlarged by scavengers, but it definitely looked like it was attacked by a Great White Shark, which are known to frequent the Point Reyes area, including Tomales Bay.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —  On July 7, 2009 Kevin Rust and several unidentified companions were surfing North of Old Man's, San Onofre State Beach. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the mid-70s and 60s Fahrenheit, respectively. The sky was clear with a mild 1 – 2 knot North-West breeze. It was 7:30 PM and they had been on the water about 2.5 hours. Several Dolphins were observed in the area prior to the encounter. The ocean was glassy calm going to high tied with 2 – 3 foot waves. The water was 8 – 10 feet deep with a primarily rocky ocean floor and some scattered vegetation. Rust recalled; “A few friends and I had been surfing for about 2.5 hours just a peak or so North of Old Man's peak at the San Onofre State Beach, along with the 40 or so other people there at the time. We were sitting in the line up about 100 yards off shore around 7:30 when a 4 – 5 foot Great White Shark jumped out of the water. It was about 50 feet away, farther out. It leaped about 3 feet into the air, came completely out of the water with its belly facing us, and crashed down ungracefully on its side. The belly was white, vertical tail, and a v-ed nose. No one really panicked. It was more awe factor than anything. We just pulled our hands and feet out of the water, made a couple straggler jokes, and that was that. It never resurfaced or made another appearance. I read Redmond's encounter for July 7, and it was the same circumstances, behavior etc., just 5.5 hours later. Same spot, I'll bet even the same shark.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —  On June 7, 2009 Rudy Fontes was surfing at ‘The Point ,' San Onofre State Beach. It was 7:15 – 7:30 PM and he had been on the water about 90 minutes. The water was 8 – 10 feet deep with a cobblestone reef bottom and an estimated temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The sky was clear with a light breeze and a air temperature in the mid-70s Fahrenheit. The ocean was glassy calm with a 3 – 4 foot swell. Fontes reported; “I had been surfing, but was now waiting in the line-up, maybe 100 yards off shore, between sets and looking out to the horizon. There were maybe a dozen others within 30 yards of me when an estimated 6 foot White Shark hit the surface of the water and became completely air borne above the water, maybe 5 feet above the surface. Its belly was facing all of us and you could see the shape of its mouth (jaw) very clearly. It was moving wildly as if it was attacking a fish or something from below the surface. an awesome site and we were all ‘buzzzzing' for a while, never seen that before. I guess it swam off, that was the last of it.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —  On July 7, 2009 Parker Redmond was surfing ‘The Point' at San Onofre. It was 2:00 PM and he had been on the water about 10 minutes. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the low 70s and 60s Fahrenheit respectively. The sea was ‘choppy' with a 2 – 4 foot South swell. Redmond recalled; “ I was looking off towards Lowers and saw a 4 – 5 foot White Shark leap about 4 feet out of the water. Its tail was inverted just like the Discovery Channel sharks. I knew instantly what I had seen. It had a white underbelly and its back was grey. About 20 minutes after the shark breach 2 Dolphins cruised through the line-up. That made my encounter seem even more absurd, but I promise you it was definitely a White Shark.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —  On July 6, 2009 Ron Wood was Stand Up Paddleboarding near Dogpatch, San Onofre State Beach. It was 12:00 PM and he had been on the water about one hour. The sky was clear with an estimated temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The ocean was calm with 3 – 4 foot waves and a temperature in the mid-60s Fahrenheit. The ocean floor was comprised of a reef with some sandy areas and was about 8 feet deep. Wood reported; “I was paddling out and notice up ahead a sand bar just past the reef. It looked pretty cool so I stopped paddling to admire, I noticed the shark come from underneath my board swimming very slowly at first. I was trying to figure out what type of fish it was then when I saw the whole thing I thought ‘Oh my God' that is a shark. It startled the heck out of me a few seconds. A little later 2 kids just South of me started saying there's a shark. So we started to paddle in when we got to shore we started talking about it and they said that the shark they saw was a Great White that was circling them and then took off. They said that it was 6 – 8 feet in length. The two kids told there friend about it and he said that it probably was a sand shark and that it was no big deal.  I beg to differ I had an encounter with a sand shark when I was about 7 years old at T-Street in San Clemente. I never heard of a sand shark being that big but I am not a shark expert. The kid told the Lifeguard about it and they said to keep it on the down low and did not seem to care about it. So I called my uncle and asked him about this area and the sharks that inhabit the area. He told me that every once in a while someone will see one and to just keep on paddling. So, after a couple hours I went back out and had a great time. I even saw a dolphin, which actually made me, feel safer.”  Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Long Beach  —  On June 6, 2009 Barrett Robinson reported the following; “ I was walking along the beach at The Peninsula (between Alamitos Bay and the beach) in Long Beach, and I noticed something washing up on shore. It came to rest and it was a seal carcass that looked like it had some bite marks. The flesh was torn in multiple places and it looked a little decayed and smelled awful, so it could have been a few days old. A police SUV was driving by on the beach and I notified the officers. They said they would call someone to have it removed.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Catalina Channel  —  On July 5, 2009 Drew Davidson reported the following; “We saw another Great White Shark in mid-channel between Santa Catalina Island and the mainland on Sunday. It was feeding on the remnants of a large carcass — either a seal or a large tuna, at that stage, I couldn't tell anymore, it was too shredded. Below is a link to a portion of what we saw. Unfortunately, we didn't get the cameras out in time to get really good pictures. We came to within 20 feet of it. The shark had to have been at least 16 feet (conservative guess). We were 7 miles from Fourth of July Cove on a bearing of 32 degrees. I have the lat & long coordinates if you would like a more precise placement. A commercial fishing vessel of approximately 70 feet had just passed us when we saw the shark — maybe that had something to do with it — I don't know.  We were on our Grand Banks 42', Pegasus II, again. Water temp was 64 F.” A film clip can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U90dnzQKL9c&feature=playerembedded . Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Cottons Point  —  On July 3, 2009 Ryan Jung and two unidentified companions were surfing at Cottons Point in San Clemente. It was 9:30 AM and they had been on the water about 3.5 hours. The sky was clear with an estimated air temperature in the upper 70s Fahrenheit. The ocean was calm with a depth of 8 feet over a sandy bottom with an estimated temperature in the low 60s Fahrenheit. Jung reported the following; “Myself and two friends observed, from an estimated 150 feet away, a 3.0 – 3.5 foot high dorsal fin rise very slowly out of the water, list to one side approximately 15 degrees, then back to vertical. Then as slowly and smoothly as it rose out of the water, it descended below the surface of the water. From our perspective the animal was either facing toward the shore or directly out to sea, perpendicular to the beach. This angle of our observation from either head on or from the tail made the fin appear to us like a periscope on a submarine rather than a fin. The slow nature of its movement along with the size of the fin suggested it belonged to a very large animal obscured below the surface. Seconds before this fin appeared, we were watching a small pod of dolphins about 75 feet away, swimming North to South. The dorsal fins on the dolphins were only 1 – 1.5 feet high, surfacing in typical marine mammal fashion, over and over for air. Comparing these smaller dorsal fins, and their typical mammalian motion, with the lone slow fin, that appeared to us to be 3 times the size even though it was twice as far away, we concluded without a doubt, that it was a very large shark. The distance and calm unthreatening behavior of the dorsal fin did not raise much panic in us or anyone else. The three of us paddled to the inside a bit and continued to surf. None of the other 35 – 45 surfers seemed phased by the observation. We did not discuss what we saw with anyone else and assumed that they must have seen the same thing due to the slow nature of the fin and our discussion of what we saw during the observation.” Marcus at Surfline.com provided assistance in documenting this incident. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On July 2, 2009 Brett Kelts and an unidentified friend were stand up paddling boarding at Dogpatch, San Onofre State Beach. It was 10:30 AM and they had been on the water about 1 hour. The sky was clear with an air temperature of about 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The water was about 15 feet deep, with similar visibility, and a sandy ocean bottom with scattered rocky areas and a temperature in the mid-60s Fahrenheit. Kelts recalled; “I was stand-up paddle boarding off Dogpatch in San Onofre with a friend. There were 3 other paddle boarders in the water. It was windy and fairly choppy with about 1 foot wind waves on the surface. I observed something jump out of the water. It was definitely a fish (vertical fin... not a dolphin's horizontal fin). The shark was approximately 5 feet in length. It breached out of the water, clearing it by 1 foot, and then disappeared. I talked with another paddle-boarder and he saw the same thing.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Churches  —   On June 29, 2009 Andrew Horn and an unidentified friend were surfing Churches near San Onofre. It was 8:00 AM and they had been on the water about 1 hour. The sky was overcast with air and water temperatures in the mid-60s Fahrenheit. The water was about 6 feet deep over a cobblestone reef. Horn reported; “I was surfing Churches with a friend, paddling North towards Middles away from the crowd. I saw something I thought was a seal and notified my friend too look as well. It made a boil and was large. I then saw it again surface with its nose, dorsal, and tail exposed, it was clearly a shark. It was moving slowly just cruising for fish I believe, there were many fish this day (a Grunion spawn had occurred the night before). It cruised right between us and went elsewhere. Another surfer saw it 5 minutes prior right outside the lineup I found out after notifying the other surfers. I kept surfing as it was neither intimidating nor aggressive. I think it might have been a Thresher Shark, it had a long tail. A couple of other surfers got out but most people just shrugged it off and surfed.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —  On June 28, 2009 Chris Pollinger reported the following; “I was at the San Onofre Power Plant at 11:00 AM. The sky was clear and the air warm. I was about 300 yards from shore when I observed a juvenile White Shark, about 5 feet in length, swim, then jump partially out of water, then dove – followed it for a while on Jet Ski as it slowly swam into deeper water.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On June 28, 2009 Steve Butcher reported the following; “ There were multiple sightings of a large 8 – 9 foot shark at Dogpatch, San Onofre State Beach on Sunday morning between 9:30 AM and 10:45 AM. Several guys near me spotted a ‘very large' fish jump near the line-up. Two paddle boarders had the shark swim under their Standup Paddle Boards.“ Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Linda Mar Beach  —   On June 27, 2009 Zack Ehrlich was surfing at Linda Mar Beach, Pacifica by Crespi. It was 12:45 PM under a sunny sky with a temperature of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. He was about 100 yards from shore. Ehrlich reported the following; “No other marine mammals were observed in the area. The seal was already dead when I saw the shark 15 minutes later. Did not look like a dolphin fin or a live seal. I was about 30 or 40 yards away from it. I saw the tip of a dorsal fin scrape through the water. The shark seemed to be feeding upon the dead seal carcass I saw earlier.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Hollywood Beach  —   On June 26, 2009 Kevin Sullivan reported the following; “While walking along Hollywood Beach, Oxnard, my wife Liz and I observed a California sea lion carcass. It had a semi-circular bite removed from the mid-abdomen approximately 10 inches at the widest cross-section. The carcass had been on the beach for some time as there was a good amount of scavenging evident. The skull was present but picked clean. There were no other similar bites evident, but many spots where the carcass was open, presumably from scavengers. I am not sure if this is the same carcass reported on June 14, but this one was much farther north on the beach from the Channel Islands Harbor inlet and from my recollection did not look like the picture accompanying that post, so I am assuming it is a different animal.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Dana Point  —   On June 25, 2009 John Brammer reported the following; “I took this picture with my Apple Teley on Thursday, at 10:47 AM. We were 300 – 400 yards off the Northern most part of the Dana Point Harbor and the Southern most part of Salt Creek. We noticed a dorsal and tail fin as we were motoring up to fish. The shark came up to the boat twice to check us out. It was probably 5 – 6 feet in length and about 200 pounds.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Newport Beach  —   On June 19, 2009 Stacy Igarashi and several unidentified companions were surfing at Newport Beach. It was about 12 PM. The sky was overcast with air and water temperatures estimated in the mid-70s and mid-60s Fahrenheit respectively. Igarashi recounted; “I was surfing with a few friends just South of the Newport Pier at Tower 18. We had been in the water for about 45 minutes and the wind was adding some choppiness to the water. I was watching a set come in and was about to turn around to start paddling for a wave, when a fin suddenly appeared about 7 feet in front of me to the left. I immediately turned to my friends to see if they saw it as well. They did. I looked back and saw the fin disappear. I had seen tons of dolphins while surfing and I knew immediately that this was not a dolphin. The fin was really dark, triangular, and had a serrated edge at the back of the fin.  It stood about 1 foot out of the water.  The three of us immediately turned to start paddling for the next wave and headed for shore. As we got out, we turned around to watch the water just one more time and saw the fin appear again. It seemed to just be cruising along the top and was headed directly South, pretty quickly.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Oxnard  —   On June 14, 2009 Kevin Harris reported the following ; “While kayaking out of Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard today I observed three separate seal and sea lion carcasses. All had been decapitated. Two were by the breakwater wall and one was on the beach.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Tamarack Beach  —   On June 13, 2009 Aaron Byzak and an unidentified companion were body boarding at Tamarack Beach in Carlsbad, also known as Carlsbad State Beach, which stretches from the warm water jetties, just South of Tamarack Avenue to Frazee Beach near Carlsbad Village Drive. It was 11:00 AM and the sky was clear with a few clouds and an estimated air temperature in the mid-60s Fahrenheit.  There was a slight wind on the sea surface, otherwise clear to the ocean floor at 4 – 6 feet deep and a temperature in the low-60s Fahrenheit. Byzak recalled; “My friend and I were surfing at Tamarack Beach in Carlsbad (at the peak known as Spotty's) right in front of the parking lot.  Immediately prior to us paddling out, the weather had been very cloudy with a slight rain and lots of wind, but had begun to clear up and the wind was calming down. We had been in the water, 50 yards from shore, for approximately 20 minutes and had caught multiple waves. My friend was surfing on a 7 foot clear surfboard; I was riding a 42.5" bodyboard with a dark grey bottom. I began to paddle for a set wave (going left or North). I caught the wave and as I bottom turned to set up for a maneuver (I was laying prone on the bodyboard), I glanced down and saw a 6 – 7 foot dark grey shark swim directly underneath me (heading perpendicular to the shoreline—back out to sea). The shark was moving with a slight side to side motion and very clearly had a vertical caudal fin. The water was approximately 4 – 5 feet deep at this location and the shark was about 8 – 12 inches below the bottom of my board. As soon as I saw the shark I said ‘Whoa!' and continued on the wave, completing two maneuvers (360 spins) before reaching shallow water (I was trying to keep my legs up as much as possible on the wave). I hesitated in the shallows, for a moment, thinking about the shark, but decided to paddle back out to my friend. As I paddled back out to my friend's position in the lineup, I was trying to convince myself that I had not actually seen a shark. However, as I approached my friend in the lineup he asked, 'Hey, did you see that shark that swam underneath us?' Two beginner surfers who were surfing in the same area and heard our conversation immediately caught whitewater waves to the beach and exited the water. My friend is a recreational diver and didn't seem too scared by the encounter, so we continued to surf in the same location for another 1.5 hours with no further contact. However, I was quite concerned and continued to check the water around me for the rest of the session and was somewhat reticent about duck diving waves afterwards. We observed one dolphin come through the area about 30 minutes after the encounter. In 25 years of surfing/bodyboarding in the area that is only the second shark sighting I have had (the other was at Ponto Beach in Carlsbad approximately 4 years ago under very similar circumstances). ” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Bolsa Chica State Beach  —   On June 12, 2009 Deanna Prince was surfing at Bolsa Chica State Beach North of Tower 24. It was about 10:30 AM and she had been on the water about 20 minutes. It was overcast with a ‘little bump' to the ocean. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the low 60s Fahrenheit. About 10 minutes after entering the water two dolphins swam through the area. Prince reported the following: “ I was just sitting on my surfboard, waiting for a wave, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a fin. Since dolphins had just passed a few minutes before, my first thought was that it was another dolphin. When I took a better look, I instantly knew it was not a dolphin. The fin was not curved like a dolphin's and the backside of it was serrated-like. It held it's elevation in the water, not swimming up and down like a dolphin at all. I did not see a blowhole or hear a breath like you normally do when you are that close to a dolphin. It was approximately 20 feet away and was at least a foot high and grey in color. It was just swimming slowly in a straight line headed South. Since the next nearest surfer was at least 100 feet away, I just turned my board towards the shore and paddled in as fast as I could. I didn't look back until my feet were on the sand. I've been surfing for 19 years now and I have seen hundreds of dolphins, but I have never seen a fin like the one I saw today. I reported this sighting to the lifeguard on duty at Tower 24.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Morro Strand State Beach  —  On June 11, 2009 Russell Gruener and an unidentified friend were surfing at Morro Strand State Beach, Morro Bay. It was about 1:00 PM and he had been on the water about 2 hours. The sky was clear with a mild breeze and an estimated air temperature in the mid-60s Fahrenheit. Water visibility was 20 – 30 feet with a moderate swell and a strong uphill current. The ocean floor was primarily sand about 8 feet deep with a estimated temperature in the upper 50s Fahrenheit. Gruener recalled; “I was out surfing with my friend and another random person about a mile North of Morro Rock. There was a good amount of bait fish in the water, presumably from the recent Grunion runs. The other surfer and I were sitting in the line-up waiting for another set when we notice the bait get spooked. I looked over to my right and saw a large shadow swimming towards us with decent speed. At first we thought it was either a large sea lion or dolphin. However, as it passed under a wave in front of us, we noticed the distinct side to side swimming pattern, torpedo shaped body, large triangular dorsal fin and the vertical tail fin. It was unmistakably a small Great White Shark. We estimated it to be 7 – 8 feet long.  This is the second similar sighting I have encountered at this beach in the last 6 months.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Huntington Beach  —  On June 11, 2009 Greg Smith reported the following; “At about 11:00 AM I was surfing close to the Brookhurst area in Huntington Beach. There were some dolphins swimming North. I had a good look at them as I could see their fins moving up and down in typical dolphin fashion. Out of nowhere I see a fin much higher than that of the dolphins. This fin was level with the water and was steady. It did not move up and down like the dolphins. The fin turned towards me and I could see the base of the fish (shark) moving towards me. Again, I could see the large fin of this animal and the base of the shark below it. It was a lot larger than the dolphins I saw earlier. Also, the skin tone was much darker. This fish did not move like the dolphins and stuck out like a sore thumb to me. My clearest view of it was when a wave hit it. I thought that this shark might ride the wave towards me. I turned around and started paddling fast towards the beach and caught the same wave that hit the shark. I thought it was a 50% chance that I might be attacked and luckily nothing happened. I was a little worried about this area as I've been seeing a number of seals hanging around. Also, back in March a friend and I witnessed a whale swimming North, after seeing that nothing was impossible to me. I've been surfing my whole life and have never seen a shark (that size), nor a whale. I estimate its length at 12 feet. This was the first time that I ever feared for my life that a shark was coming after me. I was shocked that I saw what I saw with dolphins around. My buddy Mark told me about this site and said I should post my experience.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Ocean Beach  —  On June 7, 2009 Drew Sievers reported the following; “I was on a SUP at North Ocean Beach, San Francisco. It was 8:00 AM under a clear sky with an estimated temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The surf was choppy with 2 – 4 foot waves and an estimated temperature of 53 degrees Fahrenheit. I exited the surf onto the beach and saw a live, but injured seal pup. The pup was probably about 40 pounds and had a large gash below its neck running down its belly. The pup was still alive and was being tended by some folks from the local zoo. The gash in the pup's neck was consistent with the arc of a predator's mouth.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Ventura River  —  On June 7, 2009 Bartt Bramwell reported the following; “At 7:30 AM I was walking along the beach at the Ventura Fairgrounds, just North of the Ventura River. I came across a dead adult size Harbor Seal with the head bitten off. The spine was exposed and was cleanly severed. A little bit of the flesh of the nose and whiskers was still clinging to the carcass. The body was a little decayed and had been there probably 4 days or less. I was last walking that beach 4 days ago.  This is the second time I have come across a bitten seal in this area. The other time was about a year ago, when I came across a dead harbor seal with about 3 jagged tears in the flesh around the back flipper area.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Solimar Beach Colony  —  On June 7, 2009 Ryan Johnson of Surfrider Foundation, San Clemente, reported the following; “ On Sunday morning, June 7 th , my wife and I were on the beach walking toward the North end of the Solimar Beach Colony in Ventura County. We eventually noticed some unusual birds in the sky, which appeared to be vultures. Sure enough, there were several vultures eating the carcasses of two different marine animals washed ashore. One was an unidentified juvenile shark, and the other was an adult sea lion. As we walked toward the carcasses, the vultures flew away so we could get a closer look. Based on the jagged teeth marks near the right pectoral fin and gills of the juvenile shark, this suggests the shark could have been attacked by a larger shark. The circular wound on the Sea Lion's belly also looks like it was attacked by a large predator. Both the small shark and the sea lion washed ashore in the same area, about 20 yards from each other.” The shark is a Sevengill (Notorynchus cepedianus) estimated to be 5 feet in length. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Leucadia State Beach  —  On June 4, 2009 Nathan Gaudioso and an unidentified companion were surfing at the North end of Leucadia State Beach, also referred to as Grandview Beach. It is the Northern most beach South of Carlsbad on the North Coast of San Diego County. It was 6 PM with a light Northwest breeze and scattered clouds. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the upper and lower 60s Fahrenheit respectively. Gaudioso recounted; “My friend and I were on our way out to surf this evening and to the North of stairs at Grandview Beach, about 100 yards, there was a large dead Sea Lion. I did not inspect the carcass for a wound, but there were a number of sea birds pecking at the remains. I did not see a shark while surfing, just the carcass on the beach.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Newport, OR  —  On June 3, 2009 Mark Morgon reported the following; “I was at Newport, Oregon at 9:00 AM and was checking the surf when I noticed some vultures that were starting to congregate around an object. I walked over to see what it was. It was a freshly killed Sea Lion. The head was missing, along with most of the back flippers. It had a 15 inch bite out of the torso/ribcage area with most of the lower abdomen still present. The sky was overcast, air warmer than normal for 9 AM, air about 55, water 50ish. No other mammals were seen in the area, but a group of surfers were down the beach. Harbor Seals are pupping off the nearby headland and whales have been seen coming in close to the cliffs in recent days. I hope this helps.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Montara State Beach  —  On June 2, 2009 S. Peter Andreini reported the following; “My friend Steve Cutter and I were surfing on the North side of Montara State Beach, which is located 8 miles North of Half Moon Bay. There was an object floating in the water about 20 yards from us that we identified as debris. It turned out to be a 20" X 20" log. It drifted down the beach approximately 50 yards. A half hour later we saw another object floating in the lineup that was dismissed for more debris but it turned out to be a harbor seal pup with no head. I assume Mr. Sharkey was the culprit and not a carnivorous mollusk.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —  On May 23, 2009 Joey Duncan reported the following; “At about 3:30 PM, while standing on the cliff at San Onofre Trail 4, I observed what looked to be a 7 – 8 foot shark. I want to say it was either a Mako or a Great White Shark swimming about 60 yards from shore in the lineup. I was checking the waves when I saw the shark. It was pretty onshore but there wasn’t much bump on the water. No white caps or anything. I’m positive it wasn’t a Dolphin because I know the difference in the dorsal fin.  I have been surfing the Trails at San Onofre for almost 7 years. Also, I’ve seen at least 5 dead Seals this year on the beach with big chunks missing out of them. Last time I saw a dead seal was probably three weeks ago. I’ve seen the majority of the seal bodies past the Trail 6 gate on the Marine Corps base property. I consider that area the ‘Sea World’ of San Onofre – you never know what’s going to pop up next to you there.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, of attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On May 23, 2009 Phillip Keith sent the following report to Scott at SunsetSurf.com; This was a first time for me to see a shark in my 20 years of surfing. I was surfing Sunset Beach at about 6:00 AM, just off the point. There were about 4 other surfers in the water and one paddle board surfer.  We were about 30 yards off shore and we all saw a shark about 30 yards out from us. It came up, attacked, killed, and then ate a Seagull, or some other type of bird, that was sitting on the water. The shark looked to be about 4 feet from tail to dorsal fin. I estimate the total length to be 6 – 7 feet.  It thrashed around with the bird for a while, presumably ate it, then we all saw it surface a couple times over about a 10 minute span, then it disappeared. We all kept surfing. I just wanted to give you a heads up.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Columbia River, OR  —  On May 21, 2009 M. Ducharme reported the following observation from the South Jetty of the Columbia River, Oregon; “I saw a 10 – 12 foot White Shark swimming and fishing just 100 feet from shore in light surf. We were standing on the vista platform, parking lot B, in Fort Stevens State Park when we noticed the shark. It sped up, showing its black dorsal and tail fin. It created a bubble wake in the water as it surfaced. We watched it for 4 – 5 minutes. It was 10:55 AM with the sky sunny and clear and an air temperature of about 66 degrees Fahrenheit. It was an awesome, breathing taking sight to say the least.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —  On May 16, 2009 Lori Coble, Special Event Permit Coordinator, California State Parks reported the following; “At San Onofre State Beach – Surf Beach – Dogpatch a special event was held for stand up paddlers. Around 6 AM two paddlers were out and said that a 6 – 8 foot Great White Shark passed under one of them. At 10 AM approximately 20 paddlers were heading in to the beach and told the event coordinator, Barrett Tester (who was paddling out) that he should not go out as they had just witnessed a 6 – 8 foot Great White Shark breaching.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On May 17, 2009 Marcus at Surfline.com forwarded the following message; “A buddy and I were surfing out at Sunset Blvd (Sunset Beach) around noon and saw a shark breach the water out by the buoy. My estimation of its length is about four feet.  Great sight, thanks for all you do. Brent T.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Cardiff  —   On May 11, 2009 Jon Wood, and his dive companion Nate, were spearfishing at Cardiff, located between Encinitas and Solana Beach in San Diego County. It was 7:00 PM with an overcast sky. The water was 25 feet deep with 8 – 10 feet of visibility and a temperature of 62 degrees Fahrenheit. There were scattered kelps on the ocean floor. They had been in the area of the encounter for less than 2 minutes. Wood reported; “Just got a dive in today at some kelp beds in North San Diego County. I saw ridiculous amounts of WSB (White Sea Bass, Atractoscion nobilis) but most were borderline legal. My dive buddy Nate said he saw a ‘big one’ and took a shot and missed. I saw one that was quite a bit bigger than the others, well beyond legal size, and got a shot off. I hit it but had a bad angle and sadly lost the fish. I was completely consumed with finding a keeper and saw WSB on almost every dive but they were too small and the ‘vis kinda’ sucked, mostly 5 – 10 feet with 15 feet in a few spots. I was at the bottom looking around and as I turned my head to look forward, 3 feet in front of my face was the tail of a shark swimming by. I could only see about 1/2 the body, and it was pretty ‘girthy’ from what I could tell. Definitely got my attention but I didn't let it trip me out too bad and continued diving. I was on my way to the surface and got tangled a bit in the kelp and surfaced with some struggle. I couldn't figure out where I had gotten snagged so I waved Nate over to help me and let him know about the shark. Little did I know that he had seen a fin once earlier and a second time just then heading in his direction from 30 yards or so. He was a little spooked and as I was fighting with kelp I heard him say ‘whoa, whoa, whoa’ and started back peddling toward me. At this point I have kelp in my face and couldn't see a thing. He said he saw a splash out of the corner of his eye and turned just in time to see a shark’s tail disappearing 5 feet from us. He said it was a dark colored fin but it was getting pretty late so who knows. We then had a nice long, nervous swim in.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Topanga Beach  —   On May 10, 2009 Eric Billingsley reported the following; “ I was surfing at Topanga Beach near Malibu today from about 5 PM to 6:30 PM and encountered a dead seal on the beach. It was probably 100 yards West of the main Lifeguard Building, showers, and bathrooms.  I was not able to determine the cause of death or whether there were puncture wounds. The seal appeared to be an adult.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Zuma Beach  —   On May 8, 2009 Nicolas Faure was at Zuma Beach North about 19 miles North of Malibu. While walking along the shore he came upon a dead seal that had been decapitated and had also sustained a large wound to the abdomen. A photograph was sent to the SRC for verification. The seal appeared to have been dead for a number of days. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Shell Beach  —   On May 6, 2009 Bryan Laubach was surfing at Shell Beach, just South of Spyglass, in San Luis Obispo County. It was 7:30 PM, nearly sunset, and he had been on the water 90 minutes. The ocean was calm with the surf 3 – 5 feet. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the high 60s and 50s Fahrenheit, respectively. A sea otter and seal were observed during his session. Laubach recounted; “I was swimming back out after catching a wave and stopped to rest. I looked behind me and saw some type of marine life 4 feet away. Then I saw a tan body and dorsal fin, and tail, come out of the water. I then noticed it was a shark and kicked as fast as I could away from it. I caught a wave a minute later and went to shore. The shark looked as if it was after my foot-fin with a cocked back. Its tail came out of the water and was 5 – 6 feet long. I don't know if it was behind for too long after I started swimming away. I think the shark might have been a Thresher Shark.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Moonlight Beach  —   On May 5, 2009 Chris Greenup was surfing Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, California. He entered the water at 9:15 AM. The ocean was glassy but there was medium wind swell moving the surf.  Also, the water was murky due to suspended sand and other material.  Air and water temperatures were estimated in the low 60s Fahrenheit. There was light fog hanging above the ocean, not uncommon for this time of year. Greenup reported; “I had been surfing for about 45 minutes and there was a lot of water moving so I couldn’t see the horizon due to the up and down movement of the water and paddling in and over the wave troughs. I came up over a wave and was sitting on my board when I observed 50 feet off to my right the whole underbelly of a shark. It was exposed as if it had just taken some prey and was twisting. I couldn’t see its head but estimate its length at 10 feet plus. The shark’s pectoral fins and tail were perfectly exposed. It appeared to be a very aggressive maneuver and I didn’t want to be in the water with it so I started paddling to shore. I paddled a short distance and looked back to see its dorsal fin which looked grayish in greenish in the light and very triangular. I would estimate the dorsal fin to be at least 16 inches in height. I surfed this same location yesterday (May 4) and there was a very young seal popping up next to me from time to time. I told a fellow that I had seen a shark and was getting out of the water. He said he didn’t see the shark but did see the seal near us. I talked to a few of my friends after this encounter and was told that people have seen a similar size White Shark off of Swami’s and another person claims to have seen another White Shark off of Del Mar recently.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Seal Beach  —   On May 5, 2009 Tony Aulenta was surfing Seal Beach in Orange County between Huntington Beach and Long Beach. He reported the following; I was surfing Seal Beach this morning and came across this freshly bit/eaten seal.  The carcass was fresh and had just rolled in. I thought this might help your research.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —  On May 3, 2009 Lars Marstaller reported the following; I saw a shark on Sunday, around 4 PM at San Onofre State Beach Trail # 6. I had been surfing for two hours and had gone to the beach for a rest. I was watching the waves when I saw a pointed triangular fin, about 15 inches high, coming out of the water and immediately submerging about 70 feet away. I stood up in the hope to get a second look because I didn't quite believe that what I saw was a shark. After watching for another 10 or 15 minutes all of a sudden a 5 – 6 foot long shark sort of jumped out of the water at around the same general area I had seen the fin prior. It was dark in color and rather robust and short, more like a football player rather than a jogger.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On May 3, 2009 Ryan Jung, and several companions, were surfing at San Onofre State Beach, Trail #4, North of San Diego.  It was 9 – 9:30 AM and Jung had been on the water for more than two hours.  It was cloudy with intermittent sunshine and air and water temperatures in the mid-60s Fahrenheit. There was a light onshore breeze out of the SW with a light chop and a 3 – 4 foot swell. There were 4 – 7 porpoise observed in the general area prior to the encounter. Jung recalled; “I had been quite active all morning (since 7 am) catching numerous waves and was beginning to tire. There had been a lull in waves for about 5 minutes and I was waiting, facing out to sea, patiently.  Some forerunner waves began to roll in and I noticed a dorsal fin appear from behind one. It was triangular in shape and was about a foot tall and maybe 30 feet from me.  I strained my head higher out of the water to try and confirm my suspicion.  More dorsal fins appeared shortly thereafter that were swept back with a more acute angle and more rounded at the tips than the triangular fin. The porpoises began to breach out of the back of a wave, very close to my friends and I. We were impressed with the display. However, 10 minutes later close to our position, birds began diving on a ball of bait fish and I encouraged my friends to move North away from the area.  We surfed about a half hour more without any other sightings. Later when we were loading the car another surfer told us he saw a shark that was similar in dimensions with what I had seen.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On May 2, 2009 Carlos C. (last name withheld) was surfing Sunset Beach, South of Malibu. It was about 10:40 AM and he had been on the water 45 minutes. The sky was overcast with an air temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit and rain imminent. There were occasional sets of 3 foot waves with limited water visibility. He reported; “I originally went to Sunset Beach due to the fact that it was my first time learning to surf. My wife and I sat down between the 22nd and 23rd Lifeguard Towers. I wanted water that was not going to be too rough, being my first time and all. I had been in the ocean about 40 minutes and was in water up to my stomach. I looked to the left of my location and saw a dorsal fin pop straight up, about 2 feet high, out of the water 20 – 25 yards from me. I could not believe it. I thought it was someone in the water so I looked back at my wife and she's waving her arms at me to look in that same direction. I guess she was yelling at me and I was too far out to hear her. I turned clockwise towards the shark and I saw it again. This time the dorsal had submerged and I could not see where it had gone. Then it popped up again. Then it began sinking slowly towards me about 15 yards away. I panicked and started running towards the beach but my surfboard was dragging me down. When I looked back behind me I counted at least 4 dolphins circling and splashing extremely close to me. It seemed as though they literally created a wall between me and the shark, almost like they bullied it away from me. What a horrible experience for trying to learn my first day. Later I saw the dolphins and I can confirm that the fin I observed was not a dolphins but rather a shark.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Soquel Cove  —   On April 30, 2009 Scott Tapley was paddling at Soquel Cove, Santa Cruz. It was 10 AM and he had been on the water about 45 minutes. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the mid-50s Fahrenheit. The sky was clear and the ocean glassy with about 4 feet of water visibility. There were numerous birds in the area as well as 2 pinnipeds. Tapley reported; “I was paddling from the Cement Ship to Pleasure Point and back. On the return trip, I was on a line between Pleasure Point and the Cement Ship, in Soquel Cove, about 1 mile from the Cement Ship and about a mile or less from Pot Belly Beach. The shark was swimming directly at me when I first saw it. At first I thought it might be an Orca, so I paused to let it get closer. When it was about 20 or 30 feet in front of me, the shark turned off about 45 degrees and I could see it better. It was a large gray shark, maybe 15+ feet, with 18 – 20 inches of dorsal fin exposed above surface. It was swimming slowly before submerging. It appeared to roll on its side briefly before submerging. It seemed to be coming right toward me and then veered off. I paddled hard for land looking back a few times but didn't see it again.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.   

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On April 25, 2009 Ryan Warrick was surfing Trail 6 at San Onofre State Beach, 100 – 150 yards from shore. It was sunny with a moderate 10 – 12 knot wind out of the Northwest. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 67 and 57 degrees Fahrenheit respectively. It was about 11 AM and Warrick had been on the water one hour. He reported; “I had been surfing for about an hour when I saw the lifeguard truck driving down the beach making an announcement to the surfers about every 200 yards or so. When he got close enough I could only make out part of what he was saying but I caught enough to make out ‘shark sighting, one mile, and state park recommends you leave the water.’ Everyone except for me and one other guy got out. I told the other guy that it probably isn't a very big shark and even if it was if it was spotted one mile away that by the time the lifeguard truck had driven down the beach to us that it had probably swam back out to sea. Well after about 5 minutes the other guy took the next wave in and I was all on my own. I caught two more waves and saw the lifeguard truck stop again to address me specifically this time. I paddled in a little ways and once the truck drove away I turned back out to sea to continue surfing. I've dived with sharks in Hawaii numerous times and the thought of a shark in the water really didn't phase me too much. My opinion was about to drastically change. I had paddled back out to the break and was sitting pretty far out the back when all of a sudden a very small wave started to break in front of me and a very large dorsal fin appeared. It was about 2 feet high and medium grey. I could see nearly the full length on the back in front of and behind the fin and estimate the shark to be 10 – 12 feet in length. The odd thing was that it came through the front of the wave. It appeared to be fake because of how massive it was. As soon as I had seen the shark it disappeared under the water in my general direction. I immediately turned to paddle back in and glanced over my shoulder as I was paddling and saw a dolphin riding in the wave. I'm 99% sure whatever I saw was not a dolphin, it was much too large and I would have definitely noticed a blow hole or a curved fin. This fin was distinctly straight and I've seen hundreds of dolphins over the years. When I got to the beach all the other surfers were lining the beach telling me how crazy I was for staying out. I asked them to fill me in on the rest of what the lifeguard was saying and apparently a 10 foot Great White Shark had been sighted a mile up the beach to the North where it possibly bumped a surfer. They also told me that for some reason right before I paddled in that the dolphins started circling around me in that specific spot. That really freaked me out because I've heard of dolphins chasing sharks away from people before. At any rate, next time the lifeguard tells us to get out because of a shark I'll be the first one out.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On April 25, 2009 Marcus at Surfline.com reported the following from Dan O’Donnell; “This morning at 9 A.M. Royce Cansler, Dan O'Donnell, Mike Muir, Dale, Reed Inouye and several others were out at Dogpatch, San Onofre State Beach, on our SUPS trying to catch waves in the voodoo winds. A 6 – 8 foot Great White Shark breached completely out of the water near us. We said ‘OK, Bye Bye, we’re out of here! There also was a dead Sea Lion rolling around the shore break…pretty cool stuff.” Zach Ross reported the following to Marcus at Surfline.com; “Surfed Old Mans this morning. Lumpy disorganized chest high peaks with a lot of churning whitecaps. I guess there was a shark sighting, lifeguards used bullhorns to call out to all of us this morning around 9:30AM. I heard from several people on the beach it was big. I did not see it. A friend was surfing Trail #1 at the same time and believes he saw a dorsal fin.” About 10 AM Drew Senner was surfing Dogpatch/Old Mans Beach at San Onofre State Beach. He had been on the water about one hour. Senner reported; “I was paddling against the current, heading Northwest, parallel to the beach when my hand struck what I thought was a seal. However, the animal then moved against my leg and board and was too big to be a seal. The skin also felt tough, not like a seal. I have fished and caught Shark both Mako and Thresher and my initial reaction was that it felt like shark skin. I didn't wait around to see what it was and began paddling as fast as I could towards the shore and immediately caught a wave back. The water was murky brown, so I didn't get a clear visual shot of the animal. When I returned to shore, the lifeguards told me they had witnessed a Great White in the same area and they were in the process of clearing the beach. My best guess is the shark was probably 8 – 10 feet in length. It didn't seem aggressive, more like it was bumping against me to check me out, or perhaps we just crossed paths.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On April 22, 2009 Marcus at Surfline.com provided the following report from Matthew Fry. He was off Dogpatch at San Onofre State Beach and recounted the following; “5 – 6 foot ‘Whitey’ sighting at Dog Patch at 5 PM Wed night while stand up paddleboarding. Went right under the nose of the board, FYI.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Moss Beach  —   On April 20, 2009 Neil Nobriga and a companion were snorkeling at Moss Beach Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, located 20 miles South of San Francisco and 50 miles North of Santa Cruz, between Montara and Half Moon Bay. Nobriga recounted the following; “My friend and I were shallow water snorkeling at Moss Beach Marine Reserve at approximately 11 AM. Several hours later when High tide rolled in a seal carcass washed up on shore with no head, no tail, and a few small (approximately 1 inch) teeth marks in what was left of the body. The carcass washed ashore in the spot we had been diving in only a few hours earlier. As we began filming the harbor seals later on (approximately 7 PM) we spotted a fin in the water past the breakers. We could not estimate size or species from the distance and the digital camera footage didn’t catch the fin. We stayed on for another hour but as the sun set we had to leave the reserve. We did not get back into the water once high tide rolled in. The deepest we had gone was only about 5 feet in low tide with a visibility of about 10 feet and stayed within the breakers. I have never heard of sharks coming that close to shore but I’m definitely going to keep my head on a swivel when we go back.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Ledbetter Beach  —   On April 20, 2009 Amy Rodriquez reported the following; “At 6:45 PM I was paddle boarding at Ledbetter Beach, Santa Barbara. It was just before sunset and the sky was clear. I had paddle 500 feet past the point, just outside of the kelp beds, a little less than a mile offshore, when I saw a large fin and dark black outline. This was a stark contrast to the few dolphins which I had seen ten minutes before. I was shocked to see, what I am fairly certain was a large shark so close to Ledbetter, as I have never heard of a shark sighting there. I turned around and hauled ass into shore. I paddle there almost everyday, but will perhaps be a bit more careful. It was a 90 degree day and there wasn't a drop of wind or a ripple of a wave...very freaky.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Torrey Pines State Beach  —   On April 18, 2009 Alex Kaseberg reported the following; “On Saturday morning (April 18th, 2009) at around 9:10 AM I was stand up paddle boarding past the rollers about 100 hundred yards off shore, and 400 yards South of Lifeguard Tower 1 at Torrey Pines State Beach, located about 5 miles North of La Jolla. I saw the dorsal fin of a very large shark – my guess is a Great White – a mere 50 feet away from me heading South in my general direction. My first thought was a dolphin and I actually thought to paddle closer. Then I quickly noticed the fin was more upright, far bigger, sharper angled, and it was skimming along the surface of the water, not bobbing up and down. In a sheer panic I turned and paddled in to shore as fast as I could, not looking back for fear of what I might see. Obviously I made it in and reported the sighting to the Torrey Pines Park Ranger that was taking tickets at the booth, about 9:15 AM, and he reported it to the Lifeguards. I give my sighting a 95% of being right about it being a Great White. I know it was a large shark.” This is the fourth shark incident (1 attack, 1 encounter, 2 predations) to be reported since April 6 for a 12 – 15 mile beach zone extending from a little South of La Jolla to Cardiff. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

La Jolla  —   On April 17, 2009 Roger Steinhauer reported the following; “I observed two dead seals below the parking lot South of the Scripps Pier in La Jolla. One of the animals had no visible wounds, while the other had the upper half of its body removed leaving a 6" stump of spine exposed. There were several short lacerations around the edge of the remaining torso. Lifeguards were informed and said UCSD police were taking care of the animals.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Cardiff Beach  —   On April 9, 2009 Greg Ford was part of a group of paddlers that left Cardiff Reef, in North San Diego headed for Del Mar. It was sunny and cool with a light breeze. He estimated the air and water temperatures in the upper 50s and lower 60s Fahrenheit respectively. Ford reported; “I was a part of a group of paddlers that paddled from Cardiff Reef South to Del Mar. When we left this morning at 6:30 the beach was clear. On our return at around 8:15 we discovered a dead porpoise on the beach with two significant bites taken from its body. Estimate of about 8 -10" across for the larger bite. While in the water there was a lot of feeding activity with sea lions and dolphins feeding on the inside, close to the waves, and porpoises active further out, about 1/2 mile. Fellow paddler Jamie Barger observed two porpoises that were especially active, really charging an unknown target.” Connie McDowell was going to the beach to surf. She recounted the following; “I'm a report of a dolphin that was washed up on the beach today at Cardiff State Beach. I arrived at the beach around 9:00 am and there were two Sheriffs who were looking at the dolphin. The dolphin had two bites. The larger one was about 10 inches across and was on the underside of the belly. The other was under the jaw. A while later two women biologists (didn't find out where they were from) arrived to take some samples. They determined that it had marks from a fishing line or net. They speculated it could have died after getting tangled in fishing gear and then been bitten by a scavenger shark. They said that the common dolphins are much further out than the bottle-nose, which are frequently observed in the surf. A lifeguard came by to look at the dolphin.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee

 

Newport Beach  —   On April 7, 2009 Scott Murdock and a companion were paddling their 21-foot outriggers 2 miles off the entrance to Newport Harbor in Newport Beach. It was 5:30 PM and they had been on the water about one hour. The sky was clear and there was a 12 knot breeze out of the SW with a light chop on the sea surface. Dolphins were observed in the area about 30 minutes prior to the encounter. Murdock reported; “My friend and I observed a large dorsal fin protruding out of the water about 100 yards from our location. The shark was moving slowly through the water in a North-Easterly direction. We watched it for 3 – 4 minutes. During that period it submerged and surfaced several times showing its dorsal fin and tail. I would estimate 10 – 12 feet between the dorsal and tail.” This is the same location as the March 11, 2009 encounter with Steven Lockhart and Aaron Hix. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

La Jolla  —   On April 6, 2009 Raymundo Ayus, Jr. and a companion were spearfishing South of La Jolla. The sky was clear with a light breeze. The divers were about ¾ of a mile from the beach. Ayus reported the following: “We suited up at Camino Del La Costa just South of La Jolla. The water was choppy with visibility 10 feet near the surface but a good 20 feet at the bottom. We swam Northwest to a nice kelp bed and begun hunting. About 20 minutes into the dive, I looked up and saw my buddy waving. As I swam toward him I realized he had shot a White Sea Bass and it was tangled 60 feet below in the kelp. First dive down, I looked for it and saw the fish then looked around 360 degrees for any toothy predator, then came up. The WSB was at least 50 pounds. I asked my buddy if he needed help cutting up the kelp and bringing the fish up. He said “yes." I made the 2nd dive to the fish. Once again, I scanned 360 degrees, nothing was around. I cut the kelp carefully so as not to cut the reel line. My knife was in my left hand and in my right hand I held the fish. I noticed the small green fish that frequent the kelp suddenly got spooked as I looked to my right. I saw a large dark object coming at me. That is when I freaked out seeing her nose, gums, and those teeth. I'm staring at the mouth of a 12 – 15 foot Great White Shark, 10 feet away and closing in. I released the fish immediately and arch backward to avoid the attack by going to the left of her head as she clamped down on the fish. I felt a strong hit on my right side as my face was 2 feet from her gill silts. It was her left fin (pectoral) hitting my right side. She turned slightly to the right and when I cleared her left fin I swam upward toward the surface holding my knife. I looked up to see where the reel line was heading because my dive buddy was holding my spear gun and I knew my knife was no match for the shark. When I looked down I saw the outline of the shark coming up at me. I surfaced next to my buddy and grabbed my spear gun to fend off the shark. When I pulled the gun forward in the direction of the oncoming shark, she turned right and my buddy started swimming fast, on top of the kelp, straight toward shore. I kept looking underwater for the shark then I scanned where I last saw her. There she was coming up at my 5 o' clock position so I swung my gun at her. She did a full circle touching the kelps around her. Now I know White Sharks do go into kelp when they have a prey in sight. I lost sight of her for a few minutes, then I saw her again at my 7 o' clock position trying to sneak up on me when I got to the edge of the kelp. It was scary because she snuck up on me twice and I know her intention was not to look. I almost shot the shark when she did that. Then, I swam backward with my eyes to the rear when she began following me. She was a little fast coming up to my left side. I slowed down so that I could turn and face her. She did this ‘dance’ 4 times with me, cutting in front of me, which made me stop and point my gun at her then she would go full circle around me. When she disappeared in the murky water, I swam backward, forward, and sideways, looking for her. I even dove 10 feet to see where she was. After that 10 foot dive, I could see the bottom and when I looked up the shore was only 100 yards away. I didn't see the shark again. I made it over the rocks and was grateful that she didn't bite me.” Physical contact by the shark, with the subject, constitutes a shark attack by definition. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Buccaneer Beach  —   On April 4, 2009 Jim Reynolds was surfing at Buccaneer Beach in Oceanside. It was 7:30 AM and he had been on the water about 5 minutes. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the low 60s Fahrenheit. It was sunny with a slight offshore breeze. The ocean was ‘smooth’ over a sandy bottom 6 – 8 feet deep with 5 feet of water visibility. Reynolds reported; “When I first paddled out I observed a longboarder about 20 feet away. He was paddling into a wave and I saw what looked like a grayish colored shark, 6 feet in length, swimming rapidly South in the same wave. It passed underneath him by only about 2 feet. His girlfriend was on the opposite side of the wave and also observed the shark.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Zuma Beach  —   On March 28, 2009 Michael Lilley was surfing at Zuma Beach near Lifeguard Tower 12. It was 7:30 AM and he had been on the water 10 – 15 minutes. It was sunny with a calm sea surface. Water and air temperatures were estimated in the upper 50s Fahrenheit. Water depth was about 10 feet with a sandy ocean floor. Lilley recalled; “I was sitting on my board waiting for a wave, about 30 yards from shore. While scanning the horizon, I noticed a 2 foot high fin off to my left approximately 100 feet away. The shark's movement was straight toward me and when I realized what was happening I paddled toward shore as fast as I could and didn't look back. Once I the reached shore, a guy came up to me and asked if I was OK. He had been watching from the beach. He said after I started paddling towards shore, the shark swam away from me after a few seconds and turned North and swam parallel with the shore. I feel very lucky to be typing this story today.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Temescal Canyon  —   On March 20, 2009 Alden Harris reported the following; “I went down for a swim around 9 AM but didn't get in. It was too cold, foggy, murky and no one in sight. I decided to walk down along the beach towards Temescal, South of Sunset Beach, near a fisherman. I looked out and something large shot across the water for about 30 feet from shore. I could see that the fisherman had something big on his line and I asked what he thought he had. He said casually, "shark". I knew right then it was one of the whites I’ve seen lately. So, I waited and watched. It took the line out about 50 yards off shore and then it breached, twisting and turning completely out of the water. It was a White Shark. The fisherman thought he had lost it, but then the line went taught again and the fight resumed. After 20 minutes the fisherman brought the shark to the shore break. I informed him that if it was a White Shark he would have to release it. He gaffed it in its side (which I wished he wouldn't have done) and hauled it onto the beach. A lifeguard came down and we agreed that it was unmistakably a juvenile White Shark, 5 – 6 feet in length. It had the signature snout and chin-like bottom jaw, a white belly and a ridge on either side of the tail behind the dorsal. Also, the gills were long. The lifeguard called in to report it and also called several people for a camera. I couldn’t believe there wasn't a camera or camera phone within a mile! Another lifeguard came by and we agreed that the shark should be released back into the water because it was on the ‘protected species list.’ The gaff wound didn't seem to be too bad. There wasn’t any blood coming from it, so the fisherman cut the line and pushed it back into the surf. The shark flipped its tail and was gone. I hope it survives. Funny thing, even though it's eyes were black and it showed us it's gaping jaws several times, it still had the juvenile look and it seemed kind of scared, helpless and cute. I felt sorry for the little guy. I hope it shares the same sentiments towards me should we ever meet again.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Salt Creek  —   .On March 18, 2009 Eric Campbell was surfing at Salt Creek, Orange County, California. He reported the following; “I was at Salt Creek at around 5:30 PM body boarding with a friend. The waves were a good 4 – 5 feet and excellent. I ‘duck dove’ under one wave and lost grip of my board. My leash broke and as I reached the surface of the water my right leg cramped. It was a ‘bummer’ so I sat out there a little past the brake stretching out my cramp. I was a good 20 – 25 yards from shore. My friend went back in and got my board for me. I tried swimming back in. Just as I grabbed my board a wave came along and knocked it out of my hands and now my left leg cramped. I started stretching out my leg again. The visibility was perfect even though it was sunset and there was really thick fog. My friend paddled back out and was 30 yards to my right. I told him I couldn’t swim over to him because I was stretching out my cramp. Since he went and got my board twice I thought I’d swim over to him. I was really struggling to stay up. When I was about 6 feet from my board my friend tells me ‘there is a huge fin right behind you!’ I said yeah, right. I've never seen a fin in a lineup over here before. I turn around and saw a fin sticking 2 feet out of the water and its tail was about 9 feet behind. This thing was huge. It swam by me like 5 feet away. It was really dark on top and you could see glimpses of white so I’m sure it was a Great White. I just stayed still and waited for it to pass. It was looking like it was checking me out. There were a hundred guys out there in the lineup. Everyone was still and one by one we all rode a wave back in. At that point we weren’t really picky on how good the form of the wave was. It was scary for me pretty much because from what I saw on ‘Shark Week’ they attack straggling looking prey and mainly swimmers, which makes me think it was circling me or something along those lines. And that is my encounter with the man in the gray suit." Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On March 18, 2009 Christopher Andrews was just inside the point at Sunset Beach, South of Malibu, in water that was 10 – 15 feet deep with good visibility (undefined). It was 11:30 AM. Andrews reported; “The nearest surfer was about 60 feet further towards the point. What I perceived at first was a large dolphin passing under me moving in a slow and relaxed manner parallel to the shore like it was moving without moving its body. Then I saw a disproportionately large vertical crescent shaped tail and a likewise fat mid section. The dorsal fin was similar to a dolphin but perhaps wider at the base. It almost had a calming effect on me as I watched this amazing apparition go towards the surfer. The shark was about 6 feet under the surface. When it got near the surfer it turned and came back in my direction a bit to the outside of me and then turned out to sea and headed down the coast. My impression is that it was looking for fish or curious or attracted by something but in a way minding it's own business and not threatening humans. My stand up board is 11 feet and the shark was maybe a few feet less in length.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Pacific Palisades  —   On March 18, 2009 Alden Harris (see 3-14-09) was swimming South from Will Rogers State Beach for his daily 1.5 – 3 mile swim. It was 9:45 AM when he entered the water. His swim lasted about 60 minutes. The sky was clear with air and water temperatures estimated in the mid-70s and mid-50s Fahrenheit respectively. He stayed within 10 – 15 yards of shore throughout the swim. Ocean swells were 2 – 3 feet with water visibility 5 – 10 feet. Harris reported; “I went swimming South from Will Rogers State Beach. I was in the water about one hour. When I finished my swim, I exited the water and walked about 100 yards North to the location where I had observed the two sharks on Saturday. I saw a shark’s dorsal fin about 20 yards from shore. A cresting wave allowed me to see the shark’s silhouette. It was about 7 feet in length with a dorsal fin, 12 – 16 inches. I watched the shark swim around the area for about 5 minutes. I finally went to my car to retrieve my camera and binoculars. When I returned the shark was gone. It did not return. I saw the police helicopter circling the area giving me the impression they were observing something special, so it is possible that even though the lifeguards are publicly denying that there were any sharks (seven people confirmed seeing them), privately they're keeping a diligent lookout.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Bolsa Chica State Beach  —   On March 16, 2009 Don Howarth was walking along Bolsa Chica State Beach, Tower 22, which is located in Huntington Beach between Golden West Street and Warner Avenue. It was 7:30 AM under a clear sky with air and water temperatures estimated in the mid to upper 50s Fahrenheit. A pod of dolphins were observed 100 yards offshore. Howarth reported; “I came upon a dead juvenile California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus), estimated weight at 100+ pounds. It appeared to be a recent kill as there was no smell or decay and blood was still present in some wounds. Its head was missing and the left front flipper partially eaten. There were several large bites on abdomen with entrails visible.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Pacific Palisades  —   On March 14, 2009 Alden Harris was swimming North from Temescal Canyon, Pacific Palisades toward Sunset Beach. It was 8:30 AM and he had been in the water about 30 minutes. The sky was overcast with air and water temperatures estimated in the mid-50s Fahrenheit. He was about 20 yards from shore with swells 2 – 3 feet and water visibility about 10 feet. Harris reported; “I was swimming North toward Sunset Beach when I caught sight of a dark shape about 15 yards due West of me. I thought it was one of those black birds with long necks that I see often. Upon further examination I determined the shape to be a dorsal fin, that was 12 – 16 inches above the water, with the tail 3 feet behind. The shape moved slowly in a straight line parallel to me without rising or falling. I swam to shore and stood on a drain about 10 feet above water to make sure I wasn't mistaken. It was then that I saw the second dorsal fin gliding South, just 10 yards from shore. Both sharks remained on the surface most of the time dipping occasionally so that only a tip of their fin was sticking out. They circled, heading out to sea and then came back to the same spot close to shore. A local harbor seal swam close to one of them and the shark immediately turned towards it. Not in any hurry though. I didn’t wait to see what happened because I ran down the beach and swam out to warn my friends who were about to swim directly into their path. We all walked back to the spot where I had seen them not expecting to see them still there but one surfaced and slid passed where we were standing, just yards from the shore. After a while I spotted the other one swimming out to sea. Just to be safe I ran up to the lifeguard on duty at Sunset to let him know. While speaking with the lifeguard, I looked out to see just as one of the sharks breached, jumping completely out of the water. I received the following information from a friend later in the day; “A paddle boarder came by and I flagged him in. He said the shark buzzed him twice. He thought the shark was about 7 feet in length.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Newport Beach  —   On March 14, 2009 Sam Willson, his wife, and mother, were on the Balboa Pier, which is the Southern most on the Newport Peninsula, Newport Beach. It was 1 PM with a partly cloudy sky and a brisk wind. Willson recalled; “My wife, mother-in-law, and I observed a small to medium size shark for about 30 minutes off the South side of the Southern most pier in Newport Beach. It was about 50 – 75 feet away from our location and 100 yards from shore. We couldn't make out what type of creature it was for a while. For the first 10 minutes all we could see was white and every now and then we would see a fin. It just didn't make sense. So we were debating if it was a large fish, or a dead shark floating upside down. Then it started traveling slowly towards our direction, still seeing a mostly white shape in the water. It then disappeared and moments later it breached and we knew for sure it was a shark. It was dark on top about 6 feet in length, but my estimate could be off as we were at an angle. The shark breached at our angle, straight up then faced towards us, then a flat splash. I'm not sure what type of shark it would be but it definitely was a shark. Later, after the shark disappeared, 5 dolphins swam through the same area traveling South.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Point  —   On March 14, 2009 Keith Turner was paddle boarding at Sunset Point, Pacific Palisades. It was 8:45 AM and he had been on the water for about 60 minutes. The sky was overcast and there was a light breeze. Water depth was 10 – 15 feet with about 5 feet of visibility. Turner reported; “I was paddling, slowly going North, when I looked to my left and saw a shark about 10 feet away and 4 feet under water. It was swimming slowly in the same direction I was headed. I'm not sure how long it was there before it came to my attention, but soon it swam away heading North. I paddled faster to get to the Point to warn another surfer who was in the general direction of the shark's path. He didn't seem too concerned after my warning so I went back to surfing. About 10 – 20 minutes later I was standing still on my board at the Point, facing West, when I saw a small wave coming towards me. I didn't think too much of it at first but then I saw a ripple in the middle of the wave that seemed out of place and it was headed straight towards me. I realized the ripple was the tip of the shark's dorsal fin. It kept coming towards me until it was about 10 feet away, then swerved and swam off to my left. I used my paddle to smack the water above the shark but don't think it did any good. The shark was brownish grey and a little smaller than my paddleboard, which is 10 feet, so I would estimate its size at 8 feet.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Newport Beach  —   On March 11, 2009 Steven Lockhart and Aaron Hix were returning from a fishing trip. They were 1.5 – 2 miles off the Newport Beach Jetty at 6 PM, headed toward the harbor. Air and water temperatures were estimated to be in the mid-50s to low-60s Fahrenheit. Water visibility was about 10 feet with a slightly overcast sky. Lockhart reported; “The shark was about 18 feet long and seemed to swim consistently at 3 – 4 knots, except a couple of times when it increased its speek to 5 – 10 knots. The shark was very bold, but not aggressive, it was confident. Although inquisitive it was focused on the direction it was headed – Catalina Island. We originally thought it was a seal then realized it was a fin. We pulled next to it and realized it was a shark. We drove next to it for 1 – 2 minutes then it went under. We saw it again this time on the starboard side (continued to pace next to it). Eventually we got in front of it and it was in the wash of the boat. We threw squid at it but it clearly wasn't interested. We then let the shark in front of us and we both climbed onto the bow pulpit and saw the shark. It was as wide as our outstretched arms (5 – 6 feet). The distance between the dorsal fin and caudal fin (tail) was 10 – 12 feet. From our bow pulpit to the shark was about 10 feet. The shark did not have any spots and was a dark gray. We could see its gills, could not see any white. The shark never breached or surfaced. The dorsal fin was 2 – 3 feet out of the water and was very thin. We thought there was a slight curve behind the apex. We were with the shark for 20 – 30 minutes.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Morro Bay  —   On February 18, 2009 Mike Baird was walking along Morro Strand State Beach, Morro Bay at 5:00 PM. He was 350 yards North of Azure Street when he observed an object rolling in the sand and waves at the beach interface with the water. The sky was clear with the air and water temperatures estimated to be 60 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit respectively. Baird said that; “upon closer examination the object was found to be a dead female sea otter. I reported it to the local authorities, who then informed California Fish & Game biologist Mike Harris. He came down and removed the animal to his truck. Harris said that it had been killed by a white shark and that the sharks never eat the otter’s. He said that he's had to pick up several with bites the past week or so.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Hope Ranch  —   On February 8, 2009 Harry (last name withheld) found a dolphin carcass washed up on the beach at Hope Ranch in Santa Barbara County. The animal appeared to be a young adult. He estimated the bite at 14 – 15 inches in diameter. The wound appears to have been inflicted by a large shark, based on the size and observed tooth insertion points along the injury edge. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On February 1, 2009 Marty Colombatto was stand-up paddle surfing 30 – 50 yards from shore just South of the power plant at San Onofre. It was early afternoon and he had been on the water about 30 minutes. Colombatto reported the following; “Over a one month period, ending with today February 1, 2009, I have had 3 encounters at the same location. The ocean floor at this location is primarily sand with a few scattered rocky areas. Only on one of occasion did we observe a seal swimming North about 100 yards offshore. It didn't seem to be alarmed. In each case, we were paddling South toward the South end of the power plant. We were going to surf a beach break at that location. In each case, we saw the shark(s) at approximately the same location each time. First encounter, it swam slowly under our boards about 2 – 3 feet below the surface. Second encounter, we saw it swim in front of us and darted away when we got close. Third encounter, it was sitting motionless about 2 feet below the surface. This one we got a very good look at it and it looked like a great white from the top profile, but we didn't get a look at the underside. This one was brown/gray color on top. In each case, we spotted them on the way to our surf break, only 25 – 50 yards away, but didn't spot them again, even though we continued to surf the break for an hour or so. They didn't act aggressive, so we continued to surf. The shark was 6 – 7 feet in length and 12 – 18 inches in width. It matches the description of a juvenile Great White. Second encounter could have been a Mako since it had a longer tail and less girth, but we didn't get as good a look at this one.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —  On January 30, 2009 Keith Lee was stand-up paddling his board about one mile South of the power plant at San Onofre. It was between 1:30 and 2 PM. He had been on the water about 30 minutes. The sky was clear with an estimated temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The water was 8 – 15 feet deep with limited visibility and an estimated temperature of 58 degrees Fahrenheit. There was a slight texture to the water's surface with a WNW 5 knot wind. Lee reported; “I was stand up paddling just 20 feet outside the surf zone. The shark did a drive by to check me out. It never surfaced. It was 8 feet long dark gray or brown in color. I had a top view of the shark from my position. It was traveling in the same direction as me on my right side. I was paddling on my left as it neared the surface. It never broke the water surface. After a moment it submerged and was gone.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Cottons Point  —  On January 25, 2009 Manuel Quinitana was surfing Cottons Point, San Clemente with 10 – 15 unidentified surfers. It was 11:30 AM and he had been on the water about 3 hours. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 65 and 57 degrees Fahrenheit respectively with a clear sky and a mild 10 knot breeze. Quinitana reported; “I was surfing Cottons Point and was ready to get out from being tired. Some waves started to show about 40 yards South of my location. I moved over from the pack of other surfers to get some of those peaks for a last wave. All of a sudden I looked just Southwest and saw the shark. It took me about five seconds to realize that it was very close to me. I began to second guess myself and thought it might be a dolphin. After watching it for several moments slowly swim in a straight line I saw the size, color, and realized that it was a large shark very near to me. I was very frightened while trying to keep my composure. I headed for the shore and I tried to take small strokes. I finally made it. A friend of mine was just getting in. I told him what I saw. He then asked if I was sure it wasn't a dolphin. I have been surfing for 23 years and have seen many dolphins. I know it was a shark. The head and tail never surfaced but a large light gray dorsal fin with a triangular shape did pop up in front of me. It was just cruising. It also had a little bit of white on it with some dark scares on it. The dorsal fin was about 18 inches in height. You could see it was large as I could see some body close to the dorsal fin. It had to be over 10 feet in length. My friend and I then got his friends out of the water and were able to inform the ranger.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Newport, Oregon  —  On January 22, 2009 Jay Sennewald and a companion were fishing for Ling Cod 1.5 miles offshore 4 miles South of Newport, Oregon. It was 4 PM and they had been fishing for about 3 hours. The water was 75 feet deep over a rocky reef with scattered sandy areas and 10 – 15 feet of visibility. Air and water temperatures were recorded at 50 and 48 degrees Fahrenheit respectively. There was a 4 foot swell with a slight chop. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Sennewald reported; “My friend had hooked a large ling cod and was pulling it in when we saw something very large and white about 15 feet below the boat. About 15 seconds later we were shocked to see the shark coming along the side of the boat, just cruising along. It had grabbed the ling cod just as we got it to the boat, then slowly swam off. No question as to species. It was 15 – 17 feet in length about 3 feet wide with a dorsal fin maybe 18+ inches tall. We could have touched is as it swam by the boat. It was just cruising along and left with a sweep of its tail.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —  On January 19, 2008 Jason Jacobs reported the following; “At about 2 PM while stand up paddling at Dogpatch, San Onofre State Beach, Drew Fischer encountered a 7 foot Great White Shark. The shark breached 4 feet out of the water only 30 feet away from him. It came out of the water and did a role onto its side. I had just gotten out of the water. It is possible the shark may have been interested in a paddler who had his dog way out past the lineup. The dog was swimming around and thrashing in the water. Drew immediately caught a small wave in and exited the water. The other witness said he was scared to death and frantically paddled straight to the beach.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Morro Strand State Beach  —  On January 16, 2009 Russell Gruener was surfing with a companion at Morro Strand State Beach. It was 12:00 PM and the sky was clear with a mild offshore breeze. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the mid-70s and low-50s Fahrenheit respectively. Water was about 6 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom with 15 – 20 feet of visibility. There was a large amount of baitfish and a single pinniped in the area. They had been on the water about one hour. Gruener reported; “My friend and had observed several small sharks, 1 – 3 feet in length, earlier during our session. After about an hour of surfing, I was paddling back out and observed a large shadow cruising slowly under the water. It was about 8 – 9 feet in length and grayish in color. After a wave passed and the water calmed a bit, I saw that it had the distinct shape and swimming pattern of a shark. It swam very slowly beneath my partner and continued North at a leisurely pace. We paddled into shore and observed it remain in our area for a few minutes. When the wind picked up and the water became less calm we were not able to see it any longer.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Clemente  —  On January 14, 2009 Dave Schulte was entering the water to surf at Riviera Beach near Seal Rock, between the pier and San Clemente State Beach. It was 7 AM with a sunny sky and light breeze. Water visibility was estimated at 15 – 20 feet with a temperature in the upper 50s Fahrenheit. The ocean was glassy with a one foot swell and ‘no bump on the water.’ Schulte reported; “I was walking towards the water when I noticed a lot of turbulence in the water next to Seal Rock about 500 yards from shore. The seals had moved quickly away from the waters edge and were barking and making noise’s like I have never heard before. Then I observed a Great White Shark, about 15 feet in length, with its head out of the water and mouth open. It continued to move throughout the area for at least 20 minutes. When the seals calmed down I went into the water, about 30 minutes later.” Dave Schulte is very familiar with juvenile and adult Great White Sharks having assisted in several of our research projects. Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Clemente  —  On January 8, 2009 Richard Thornton was walking along the beach near Mariposa Street in San Clemente. It was 11 AM and the sky was slightly overcast. The ocean was glassy smooth with the surf running 1 – 2 feet. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Thornton reported; “I was called by a friend who told me that a Great White Shark was in the water by the pier and to hurry down to check it out. Another person I know had just seen possible the same shark at State Park 3 days prior. When I arrived we watched the shark thrash around in the water for several minutes. It was just outside the surf, 20 – 30 yards from shore. I estimate the shark to be 12 – 15 feet in length with huge fins, including a dorsal fin that was at least 18 inches high. It rolled at one point before lifting its entire head several feet out of the water. It was amazing how large It was. One surfer got out of the water right away and asked if it was a whale or something.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Salmon Creek Beach  —  On January 1, 2009 Michael Casey was body boarding South of Salmon Creek Beach, Sonoma County, California. It was 7:30 AM and he had been on the water 10 – 15 minutes. There was a cloudy sky with estimated air and water temperatures in the upper 40s and low 50s respectively. The sea conditions were a buoy reading 6 feet at 11 or 12 seconds and a light offshore wind with good water visibility. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Casey reported the following; “I had just paddled out with another surfer and I turned, perpendicular to the shore, and started moving to the South. As I was paddling to a spot I wanted to surf, I suddenly saw a dorsal fin, about 2 feet high, in the exact spot I was going to. It was approximately 30 – 40 yards in front of me traveling North and about 10 – 15 yards to the inside of me. The fin was slowly cruising through the water and I observed for about 3 seconds. The fin then rotated to the West, exposing very dark skin, followed by another fin that flopped topside. That was the last I saw of it. I started to paddle, as fast as I could, in the opposite direction, told the other surfer what I saw, and we both got out of the water as quickly as we could.” Michael Casey was attacked by a Great White Shark at Salmon Creek Beach on November 28, 2002. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

 


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