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Pacific Coast Shark News 2010

The following reports for 2010 have been provided as a public service. They are intended to inform our visitors of current shark activities along the Pacific Coast of North America.

 

Strands Beach  —   On December 30, 2010 Mark Whitledge was surfing 20 – 25 yards from shore at Strands Beach, Dana Point, California. He had been in the water about 10 minutes prior to the encounter. There was a clear sky with a brisk breeze and an estimated air temperature in the mid-50s Fahrenheit. The water was very muddy from recent rains and about 6 feet deep with a sandy/reef bottom. Water temperature was estimated in the mid-50s Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Whiteledge reported; “I had paddled back out and then saw a wide body shark, about 8 feet in length, with a large dorsal fin with a jagged back edge and white sides, push out of water, fast, less than 10 feet away. It then turned out to sea as it breached, not high, just enough for the head to come out of the water. The shark's body went back in the water first then its head. My friend said he saw a fin 5 minutes before that but didn't think much of it. We watched for 10 minutes just to be sure it wasn't a dolphin and didn't see anything.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

PRESS RELEASE:

December 17, 2010 – Sharm El-Sheikh Shark Attacks: Update

Between November 30 and December 5, 2010 there were 5 unprovoked shark attacks reported from Sharm El-Shiekh, Egypt. Following these attacks the Egyptian government assembled an international team of experts to conduct a forensic analysis of the attacks: Ralph S. Collier, President of the Shark Research Committee and Director of the Global Shark Attack File; Marie Levine, Executive Director of the Shark Research Institute; Moustafa Fouda, MSEA; Mohammad Salem, EEAA; and Nassar Galal, CDWS. The team gathered eyewitness testimony, examined the attack locations, and reviewed the forensic evidence, including all environmental factors present prior to each of the attacks. The following is a list of those factors they believed to be contributory to the attacks:

  • The illegal dumping of sheep carcasses by animal transport vessels within 1.2 miles of the shore.
  • The unique underwater topography of the area; i.e., deep water very close to shore allowing pelagic sharks and humans to swim in close proximity.
  • Although fishing is restricted in the Sharm El-Sheikh region, unrestrained fishing in the Red Sea has depleted fish stocks and reduced the amount of natural prey available to sharks.
  • Shark and human population dynamics, i.e., 5 million people visit Sharm El-Sheikh annually and numbers of sharks migrate through the area each year.
  • Feeding of fish by glass bottom boats and swimmers drew the sharks close to the beach.
  • Elevated sea temperatures resulted in higher metabolic rates of the sharks and increased their energy (food) requirements.
  • Although prohibited, it is believed that some dive operators have been feeding the sharks, which could have habituated the sharks to humans as a source for food.

It was determined from forensic evidence and eyewitness testimony that two species of sharks were responsible for the attacks; shortfin mako, Isurus oxyrinchus , and oceanic whitetip, Carcharhinus longimanus . Historical data obtained from the Global Shark Attack File for Egypt confirmed additional incidents from 2004 to the present (www.sharkattackfile.net/ ). Suggestions to reduce the potential for future shark/human interactions were provided to local officials for their review and implementation.

 

Guadalupe Beach  —   On December 16, 2010 Aaron Wright was surfing 40 – 50 yards from shore at Guadalupe Beach, North of Vandenberg Air Force Base. It was 10:20 AM with a sunny sky with a light offshore breeze about 5 knots. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 60 and 54 degrees Fahrenheit respectively. The surf was smooth, glassy, with 4 – 5 feet of water visibility. Wright reported; “I was surfing Guadalupe Beach, 20 yards North of the parking lot. I noticed a seal swimming thru the face of a 6 foot wave to its peak followed close behind by a Great White Shark, grey on top, white on the bottom, and 15 – 17 feet in length. As the seal swam into the cresting wave the shark followed for a few seconds before turning abruptly and swimming out of the wave. The seal continued thru the wave as the shark turned sideways into the wave and swam away. It was 10 – 12 feet from my location and I could clearly see its exposed teeth as it swam by me.” Please report any shark sighing, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Moss Landing  —   On December 5, 2010 Paul Tompkins was surfing one-third of a mile South of the South Jetty at Moss Landing. It was 1:30PM with air and water temperatures estimated at 60 and 52 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The sky was mostly cloudy with a 15 – 20 MPH South-East wind. Tompkins reported; “About 400 yards from shore I observed a large fin at the surface. I did not see anything surface for air so it was not a dolphin. I saw several large bloody splashes as the shark struck a prey item, I'm assuming it was a seal. I watched the feeding event for over 10 minutes. There was a tight knot of gulls that were flying and swimming above the attack site, apparently feeding on scraps.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On November 15, 2010 Jim Thomsen, and a friend Jeff, were surfing 100 yards from shore, straight out from trailhead, at Trail #1, San Onofre State Beach. It was 9:30 AM and they had been on the water about 25 minutes. It was sunny with an estimated air temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea was glassy with 2 – 3 foot surf and an estimated water temperature of 63 degrees Fahrenheit. The water was about 8 feet deep with 4 – 5 feet of visibility and the bottom sandy with scattered rock formations. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Thomsen reported; “I had just finished paddling back out from catching a wave, still prone on my board, when I observed the shark cruising from South to North from under the middle of my board and just a couple of feet below the surface. It took a second or two for it to register, so I only clearly saw about 4 feet of the back half of the shark (behind the dorsal fin), and vertical tail, which I estimate was around 2 feet, tip to tip. The only color I could make out was gray, as I observed it from above and behind. The shark's tail fin moved side to side as it left my view. There was no warning before the sighting and nothing out of the ordinary that would have alerted me to the shark's presence. I got my friend's attention and let him know what I had seen with a quick hand motion, and then told the 2 surfers closest to me what I had observed. I was inclined to go directly into shore, but decided to first paddle over to the other 4 surfers to warn them of the sighting before going in. None of the other surfers seemed too alarmed, or made immediate stride towards shore. I ended up staying out for approximately 5-minutes more before catching a wave in. I warned a surfer about to enter the water of the sighting and he thanked me and said he was going to wait it out for a while. By now my friend was also on shore. Around 15-minutes later, some of the other surfers started making their way to shore, and I was told by one, that another one, a female surfer, had also seen the shark after my sighting. I ended up reporting my sighting to the gate guard at the entrance to trails on my way out. He asked me if it was a Great White and I answered I couldn't say for sure. The shark was a gray color, 6 – 7 feet in length. The distance from the tail fin to dorsal fin was about 4 feet. Vertical tail fin approximately 2 feet from tip to tip. I observed the shark as it cruised directly under me, maybe 3 – 4 feet from the surface, while I was lying on my board. Never saw the head or under body.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Shell Beach  —   On November 11, 2010 Tom Hall and his wife were surfing Silver Shoals at Shell Beach, located between Avila Beach and Pismo Beach in San Luis Obispo County. It was 2:00 PM and they had been on the water about one hour. It was sunny with a light breeze and an estimated air temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea was fairly smooth with about 3 feet of water visibility. The water was 6 – 8 feet deep with a rocky reef-like bottom and an estimated temperature of 53 degrees Fahrenheit. One Otter and one Harbor Seal were observed in the area. Hall reported;“I was surfing near my wife and one other person when I saw a large fin come out of the water about 20 feet North of me. The dorsal fin was gray and approximately one foot high from the surface of the water. It stayed on the surface for only two or three seconds then circled towards shore and beneath the surface. I've seen plenty of dolphins and this didn't look like one so I told my wife and the other surfer and we all caught the next wave in.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

La Jolla  —   On November 7, 2010 Landy S. Daly reported the following; “I observed some super strange behavior with dolphins at Blacks, at South Peak at approximately 11:30 AM. It looked like they were attacking or chasing something away. I did think that they were chasing something like a shark. I did see a dark, slow moving large animal (I told myself it was a dolphin) swim about 5 feet north of me underwater and I could not decipher if it was for sure a shark or not but the way it moved struck me differently than a dolphin. I did have a weird feeling about the whole thing. The dolphins were more feisty and rough than I have seen them before. They seemed aggressive. I have seen dolphins hundreds of times down there and this seemed different. I got out of the water within 5 minutes of observing the dark slow moving animal swim by going north. I did mention this to my husband and a few friends that day. I am only letting you know after hearing this morning about the report of a fin and similar dolphin behavior from the day before on the 6th at blacks.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

La Jolla  —   On November 6, 2010 Evan Morgan was surfing at Blacks Beach, La Jolla. It was 3:45 PM and he had been on the water about 30 minutes. The sky was partly cloudy with offshore winds of about 10 MPH and an estimated temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The ocean was choppy with chest high waves over a sandy bottom 6 – 8 feet deep with a temperature in the low 60s Fahrenheit. Morgan reported; “There were dozens of dolphins in the area that appeared to be feeding, jumping, and behaving in a very excited manner. Dolphins in the area are not uncommon. I was sitting just outside the lineup not paying much attention to all the dolphins when something broke the surface just behind two surfers to my left. I saw it in the corner of my eye and turned my head expecting to see just another dolphin. Instead I saw a large and distinctly triangular gray fin with notches/scars on the trailing edge of the fin. The fin was an absolute minimum 1 foot high out of the water. My best guess would be 14 – 16 inches. It was 30 – 40 feet away from my location heading directly towards the beach and stayed above the surface for 2 – 3 seconds during which I could feel my face turn white. A couple people were looking around with a "what was that look on their face" at which point I said loudly "I don't think that was a dolphin" while quickly turning to make my way in. There was a kid right behind me who's eyes looked the size of tennis balls. In my 20 years of surfing I have never exited the water so fast. On the beach the kid confirmed he saw the same thing. Neither of us saw a vertical tail fin behind the dorsal fin. A few of us stayed for a bit discussing the incident and pondered going back out, but with the subpar waves it just didn't seem good enough.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On November 1, 2010 John Gadberry and an unidentified companion were surfing Upper Trestles at San Onofre State Beach. It was 12:45 PM and they had been on the water about 2 hours. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 75 and 66 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The ocean was mostly glassy with a slight texture and 12 – 15 feet deep over a rocky reef-like bottom. Gadberry recalled; “I was sitting waiting for a set to roll in and saw something over a small swell but after the swell rolled by I thought it was just a bird. Then a large dark gray triangular fin and tail broke the surface of the water about 50 yards from me outside the break-line heading towards ‘Lowers' then submerged. The dorsal fin was about 12 inches high with about 4.5 feet between the dorsal and tail. About a minute latter it was about 30 yards off the break-line in front of me and then submerged. I exited the water…quickly and called my buddy in. A large number of sea birds were observed on the surface feeding but vanished when the shark appeared.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Long Beach  —   On October 31, 2010 S. P. (name withheld by request) and her husband were windsurfing 200 meters from the beach at Belmont Shore in Long Beach. It was 5:30 PM and they had been on the water about 30 minutes. It was clear and sunny with a few high clouds and an air temperature of about 62 degrees Fahrenheit. There was a light chop to the sea surface and water visibility was limited due to suspended material. The sky was mostly clear with a few high clouds and an estimated air temperature in the low 60s Fahrenheit. Several Dolphin were observed in the area. S.P. reported the following:“I was windsurfing with my husband. I had fallen in three times attempting a turn. Each time I crawled back on the board within a few seconds. The fourth attempt I made the turn. As I made the turn, the shark full breached from below the water and straight up and toward me. It fell short of my board by about a foot or two and slammed back into the water. It appeared to be about a meter long, gray in color, possibly a young shark. It looked like a baby shark. It came up from underneath where I had originally fallen in the water. My husband was on his board about 10 feet from me. He also had just fallen in the water, but by the time the shark breached at me, he was already on his board. I'm not sure if this is an ‘encounter' or an ‘attack.' It felt like an attack as it breached. Most of the kitesurfers were already back on the beach. We were one of only a few people out on the water.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

La Jolla  —   On October 30, 2010 Walter Heim reported the following; “The wife and I went to La Jolla Cove area for a late breakfast and stroll. We checked out the harbor seals at the Childrens Pool and found one with a bite, likely a shark bite. The seal was on a rock just inside the wall and was alive.  I shot the attached images with a 300 mm lens from the wall and did not approach the seal.  There were many other seals on the beach. Air temperature was probably in the 60s with the water 60 – 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Water visibility was 5 – 10 feet as viewed from shore. This is an area I like to dive.  I will probably not dive it for a while.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Florence, OR  —   On October 28, 2010 Seth Mead and Gus Gates were surfing 75 yards from shore and about 100 yards from the North Jetty of the Siuslaw River at Florence, Oregon. It was 3:20 PM and they had been on the water 5 – 10 minutes. The sky was overcast with a light South-East breeze and an estimated air temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea was calm with a 4 – 6 foot swell over a sandy ocean bottom 15 feet deep with poor visibility and an estimated temperature of 54 degrees Fahrenheit. An undetermined number of Harbor Seals were observed near shore. Gates reported the following; “I was paddling out on my surfboard to where my friend Seth was surfing, approximately 100 yards North of the North Jetty in Florence. I was watching him as he was paddling back out after catching a wave (his first and only after about 10 minutes in the water) from a distance of approximately 50 yards, all of the sudden I saw a bunch of commotion and a large grey dorsal fin and the sharks tail out of the water next to Seth. A wave in between us blocked my view for an immediate second as I contemplated what I had just seen. When Seth reappeared he yelled, ‘paddle to the beach now!' and we both paddled as hard as we could and caught a wave on our bellies. Seth was totally unharmed physically, minus the loss of a favorite surfboard. No rescue was needed, Seth was relieved that he was not hurt and wonders why sharks seem to like him so much. I told the Coast Guard officer who was on the beach about the encounter and asked that she notify others in the event that they might paddle out.” Seth Mead was attacked by a White Shark on 20 September 2004 while surfing at Gold Beach, Oregon requiring more than 25 stitches to close his wounds. Additional information about the current attack will be posted as it becomes available. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Shell Beach  —   On October 27, 2010 Lucas Lanci and an unidentified companion were surfing at Spyglass Park at Shell Beach, located between Avila Beach and Pismo Beach in San Luis Obispo County. It was 12:45 PM and they had been on the water about 30 minutes. It was sunny with an estimated air temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit. The ocean was glassy smooth and the water about 5 feet deep over a reef-like bottom with scattered kelp plants and an estimated temperature of 58 degrees Fahrenheit. There were two pinnipeds observed in the water with a dead seal on the beach. Lanci reported the following; “We were waiting for a wave when my friend saw the shark come up to the surface of the water to see what was going on. I then turned around and saw it at the surface of the water turning around. We immediately paddled in as fast as we could and did not see it after that. The shark was 8 feet in length and gray in color. The shark was about 25 yards from the beach. My friend and I were the only ones out. Two individuals on the beach also saw the shark.“ Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Clemente  —   On October 26, 2010 Dave Schulte was surfing with about 10 other unidentified surfers at Riviera Beach in San Clemente. It was 6:00 PM and he had been on the water about one hour. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 70 and 66 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The ocean floor is primarily sand and about 15 feet deep at the location of the encounter. Schulte reported; “It was a glassy evening with 2 – 4 foot peaks coming in, nothing unusual was happening then 20 yards outside the lineup a 5 – 6 foot Great White Shark breached at least 3 – 4 feet out of the water. Then it disappeared for 20 minutes and breached again a little further out. This is inside of Seal Rock where I observed the large shark chasing seals up onto the rocks in January 2009.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Surf Beach  —   The following is provided by Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office; "At approximately 8:50 AM, on Friday, October 22, 2010 the Santa Barbara Sheriff's & Coroner's Bureau was dispatched to Surf Beach on Vandenberg Air Force Base for the report of a deceased victim of a shark attack. When the Coroner's detective arrived, the 19-year old male victim had already been pulled from the water by his friend and other witnesses. VAFB Fire personnel who responded prior to arrival of the Coroner's detective had pronounced the victim dead at the scene. Based on the initial investigation, Lucas McKaine Ransom of Romoland, Ca was boogie boarding on the break line about 100 yards off the beach with his friend when a shark suddenly pulled Ransom under the water. Matthew Garcia, Ransom's friend, assisted him to shore and described the attack;"When the shark hit him, he just said, 'Help me, dude!' He knew what was going on. It was really fast.You just saw a red wave and this water is blue -- as blue as it could ever be -- and it was just red, the whole wave." Garcia said he was two feet from Ransom when the shark rose out of the water without warning and bit into Ransom's leg. The coroner said; "Ransom suffered a massive wound to his left leg and appeared to die shortly thereafter. The shark was described as being 14 to 20 feet in length." Additional information will be provided when available. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Lucas McKaine Ransom.

 

Linda Mar Beach  —   On October 18, 2010 Patrick Ryan was surfing in front of the pump house, 150 feet from shore, at Linda Mar Beach in Pacifica, located between San Francisco and Half Moon Bay. It was 11:45 AM and he had been on the water about 2 hours. It was partly cloudy with a mildly choppy sea and air and water temperatures estimated at 58 and 56 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. A small group of porpoise had been observed in the area prior to the encounter. Ryan reported the following; “I was surfing with a group of about four other surfers. Conditions were okay with 2 – 3 foot waves and occasional 5 foot sets. After paddling over a breaker I observed a grey and white dorsal fin about 10 – 15 feet in front of me. It appeared to be coming in a weaving manner straight towards me and the other surfers. Thus, I did not see it from the side view – just the large (approximately 1.5 foot) grey dorsal fin coming straight towards us. I yelled ‘shark' and immediately – along with the other surfers – made a bee line in to shore. On shore another surfer also confirmed seeing the same fin. Both of us felt the fin did not appear to be that of a porpoise or dolphin – especially by its movements, which were side to side. I did not look back as I paddled to shore so I don't know what the shark's movements were like after I turned around. The group of four surfers I signaled other surfers and SUP's to come out of the water. We also told people about to go in about our sighting. From shore we did not see a fin surface again. BTW I was in the water on Aug 31 this summer at Linda Mar Beach when a Great White Shark killed a sea lion. This encounter was in the exact same location (directly in front of the pump house) at Linda Mar Beach and almost at the exact same time, nearly noon.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Newport, OR  —   On October 17, 2010 Robert Finlay, his cousin David VanCott, and a new acquaintance Ken, were surfing between the South Jetty and South Beach, located in Yaquina Bay about 1.5 miles South of Newport, Oregon. Finlay reported the following; “The day was beautiful, blue sky no clouds. We were on the water 8:45 AM. The air temperature was 48 – 54 degrees Fahrenheit. Water clarity was good, not sure of the water temperature but the waves were 4 – 6 feet. There was a lot of sea lion activity that looked like feeding, possibly on the numerous salmon in the area, but some of the seals were jumping out of the water. We were Stand Up Paddle surfing between the South Jetty and the South Beach parking lot. My board was facing North when I saw a very large shadow approaching from the Southeast heading in a North – Westerly direction. At first I thought it was a sea lion, but as the shadow got bigger, I could see the details of a very large shark. First the pectoral fins, then the dorsal fin, the white belly, and then the large tail fin. It slowly swam 6 – 7 feet directly below my board and must have been checking me out. It was swimming slowly, maybe 3 or 4 miles per hour. I was about 20 yards outside of the break zone, which put me 100 – 150 yards off shore. It must have been twice my board length which puts it at around18 feet in length and grey in color. I told the other two paddlers that I saw a large shark and we paddled in and got out of the water. My friend and I then went up to Agate to finish the session. About 6 other prone surfers that were further South, 200 – 300 yards of my position, stayed in the water. They didn't know about the sighting and I couldn't tell them because they were too far away.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On October 15, 2010 Nate Fischer was surfing Upper Trestles at San Onofre State Beach. It was 8:30 AM and he had been on the water one hour. The sky was overcast with a light drizzle falling. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 65 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The water was about 10 feet deep with the ocean floor primarily rock with scattered sandy areas. The ocean was mildly calm with 2 – 4 foot waves. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Fischer reported;“I was surfing with a group of friends, and was the only one to spot a shark, fully breach the water by several feet, about 100 yards out past the lineup. Because of the distance it was hard to gauge the exact size. I would estimate it at around 6 feet, possibly more. The tail and side fins were unmistakably a sharks. I did not see a dorsal fin, due to the angle I assume. Could not tell what species it was.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committe

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On October 13, 2010 Henry S. Noyes was surfing ‘Old Mans' at San Onofre State Beach. He reported the following; “I went surfing on a longboard at Old Mans. It was a bsolutely perfect, 66 degree Fahrenheit water, no wind, 4 – 5 foot waves. It was perfect ride after perfect ride. Then, when I had just paddled out and decided I would catch two more waves before packing up, I looked out to see the next set of waves coming in. About 125 yards out and a little bit South of me I saw a shark jump completely out of the water. It was definitely bigger than 10 feet long, probably 11 or 12 feet. The head got about 10 feet out of the water and the tail was a foot or two out. It was like something off of the Discovery Channel. I caught a wave in and then paddled about 80% of the way back out, but kept a good 15 or 20 people between me and where the shark was last seen. I talked with an older guy who is a regular in the lineup. He said he had seen a shark about 15 minutes earlier. He didn't seem too concerned. I caught a wave in and packed it up.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Leadbetter Beach  —   On October 10, 2010 Lorien Crawfor reported the following; “At about 3pm I among several other beach-goers, saw a Thresher Shark at Leadbetter Beach in Santa Barbara. It was wounded and although it was trying to swim, it kept being washed up onto the beach (someone suggested it had most likely been speared or hooked). Someone called the Harbor Patrol and not long afterwards they came along and picked the shark off the beach and put it in their truck.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On October 4, 2010 Hugh Johnson was surfing Trail One at San Onofre State Beach. It was 8:00 AM and he had only been on the water about 2 minutes. It was overcast and drizzling with choppy sea conditions. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 65 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Johnson reported; “I was alone on the water when I p addled out to surf. No other surfers were present within miles in 3 – 4 foot mediocre conditions. Approximately 50 yards from shore with no surf or sets waves present and while prone on my surfboard there was a splash of water approximately 3 – 4 feet in front of me. Immediately a large dorsal fin and tail fin were prominently visible with a large dark shadow. Distance between the dorsal fin and tail was approximately 5 feet. I turned and made a 90 second paddle for shore.  No physical contact was made by the shark.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Linda Mar Beach  —   On October 1, 2010 John Bickford was surfing about 75 yards from shore at Linda Mar Beach in Pacifica, which is located between San Francisco in the North and Half Moon Bay to the South. It was 5:45 PM and he had been on the water about one hour. There were an undetermined number of surfers in the immediate area. Having spent some time at one location, Bickford decided to move some distance to a second group of surfers. Bickford reported the following; “While paddling from my original location to the second area, my attention was drawn to an area near me. It was as though something had landed in the water creating a splash and a lot of surface turbulence. While looking at the boiling water, a Great White Shark, 10 – 12 feet in length, suddenly breached completely out of the water. It rose to such a height that its tail was 4 – 5 feet from the water. It splashed down and then within only a few seconds breached again. It jumped at least two times and possibly three, in a matter of seconds, from start to finish. I later learned that most of the surfers weren't aware of the shark.“ Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Manhatten Beach  —   On September 30, 2010 Nathan Anderson was surfing at Manhattan Beach. It was 9:30 AM and he had been on the water about 1.5 hours. It was overcast and foggy with an estimated air temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea was calm with an estimated water temperature of 62 degrees Fahrenheit. Anderson observed a pod of about 6 Dolphins 100 yards from his location. He reported the following; “I was out surfing 300 – 400 yards North of the Manhattan Beach Pier, from 8:00 – 10:00 AM. I noticed a group of about 6 Dolphins playing and was enjoying watching them for awhile and would catch a wave or two. When they got within about 50 yards North of me I glanced up to check the waves again and noticed another fin about 30 – 40 yards outside the surf. My first reaction was, ‘cool more dolphins.' I then realized that the fin was not curved like a Dolphins and the fin never bobbed down. It just smoothly cruised South for about 20 yards then went down slowly. A bit stunned at what I had just seen, I turned my attention back to the Dolphins as they were making a lot of commotion with one of them repeatedly slapping its tail on the water. I had never seen them behave like this in my weekly encounters with Dolphins out surfing Manhattan Beach. A combination of that and the shark I decided to catch a wave in. I did some research and found 2 things. First, Dolphins sometimes may slap their tails as a warning that danger is near. Perhaps they were trying to warn me or the other Dolphins of danger?  Second, after looking at tons of pictures I am certain that the fin I saw was the shape of a Great White Shark. I can't tell you how big it was as I only saw the fin but the fin itself was around the same size of a Dolphin fin although I did not see where it connected to the body. Again the shark was not aggressive and was outside the surf. I will be out there surfing tomorrow like always.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.  

 

Umpqua River, OR  —   On September 27, 2010 David Lowden, was attacked by a Great White Shark, while surfing with Mark Lorincz, and Justin Martin at the South Jetty of the Umpqua River in Winchester Bay, Oregon. It was 4:00 PM and they had been on the water about 45 minutes. It was sunny with a light fog coming and going and an estimated air temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. They were 80 – 100 yards from shore, in water 15 – 20 feet deep with a sandy ocean floor and 4 – 5 feet of water visibility. Erosion along the jetty wall created a trench deeper than the surrounding ocean floor. No unusual behavior of marine mammals, fish, or birds, was observed in the area prior to the attack. Lowden reported; “Surf conditions were good with a large swell, light winds, and good interval. Water temperature was much higher than normal, around 56 – 58 Fahrenheit. High tide was at 2:15 PM that day and the peak we were surfing was further out than normal due to the size of the swell. After surfing for about 45 minutes, and catching only two waves, the current pushed me towards the outside and wide of the peak that was breaking about 30 feet South of the jetty. I paddled hard to fight the current and regain position in the peak. During this effort I was struck from underneath by the unmistakable force of a shark, due to past experience being bumped by a Great White in September of 2006 at the same location. I knew right away from the hardness of the object that it was a shark. The shark was at full attack speed nailing the tail of my board ejecting me forward as the shark breached the surface of the water with most of its body. I got a pretty good look at the overall presence but it happened so fast I wasn't able to pick out details. The shark turned on its side as it headed back down, thrashing its tail a couple times before disappearing somewhere underneath or behind me. Frantic, I pulled my board back toward me by the leash. I then began to paddle as fast as I could toward the jetty which seemed much closer than the beach. Luckily, during the encounter I had been pushed inside and toward the peak enough to grab the first wave in that came moments later. After regrouping on the beach, the other two surfers were able to fill in the blanks as to what really happened as both saw the entire incident take place. We came to the conclusion it was a Great White between 11 and 14 feet in length. I believe that it either miscalculated the attack or aborted at the last second clipping the tail of my board, striking the fins first which I think must have given it a bit of a shock and caused it to thrash about after the initial contact. My board sustained minimal damage considering, losing a fin and crushing a fin box and creasing the tail. No injuries occurred.” This is the fifth authenticated unprovoked shark attack from the Pacific Coast of North America for this year and the first for Oregon. It is the fourth White Shark attack from this 'recurring location.' Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On September 27, 2010 Beth Kiely was Stand Up Paddle surfing at Dog Patch, San Onofre State Beach. It was 12:00 PM and she had been on the water about 30 minutes. It was a clear, sunny, windless day with air and water temperatures estimated at 80 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The water was 6 feet deep with a primarily sandy ocean floor with scattered areas of eel and kelp grass. Kiely reported the following; “I was Stand Up Paddle surfing at Dog Patch in San Onofre State Beach. I was on my paddle board looking for waves when I looked down in front of my board and noticed a Great White Shark ~8feet in length, with a white belly, swimming in the area. I was surfing close to the OK line between surfers and SUP, and maybe 200 meters out – not that far, and not that deep from other people surfing in the area. The shark was there for a while, swam in front of me, alongside my board, seemed to be looking around, not in a hurry, not bothering people, and I did not feel scared at this time. I paddled in and told the other surfers and their reply was that this shark is seen here frequently and there is a U tube video called ‘Me and My Shark' by Chuck Patterson of this shark. So I went back out in the water with the other SUP people.  About 1 hour later I was surfing a little farther South and a little farther from the beach. This is when I saw the shark again. This time I pointed it out to another SUP surfer who paddled after the shark, following it around on his SUP board. He then stated he thought he made it mad, then caught a wave and left. I could not see the shark anymore and I went into full panic mode, fell off my board about 5 times trying to catch a wave. I finally just paddled away from that area. I managed to get myself together and decided to continue to sup surf but this time staying closer to beach and back near the ok surf/sup sign. I was fine now. Then about 1 hour later I heard another SUP person yelling that he just saw a Great White Shark. I was not going to report this shark encounter because everyone seems to already know about this shark and they all still paddle and surf there. But then I read the article about the teenager who just died from a shark bite in Santa Barbara, and thought I should just report the encounter.” Although surfers are frequently accustom to observing sharks, this information is vital in our determining those locations and times of year preferred by White Sharks. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Manhatten Beach  —   On September 26, 2010 Adele Luttrell was surfing El Porto at Manhattan Beach. It was 11:15 AM and she had been on the water 1.5 hours. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the 80s and 60s Fahrenheit, respectively. There were an undetermined number of surfers in the water in her area. A pinniped was observed swimming South through the area about 30 minutes prior to the encounter. It was high tide and there were small waves with a slight swell. Luttrell reported; “While sitting in the line-up I observed a shark swimming very close to the surf line-up, heading South. It did not appear to be interested in any of the surfers nor was it aggressive. After spotting the shark several of us go out of the water immediately. Others were pointing and looking at the shark from shore. The shark was 4 – 5 feet in length and black in color.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Pacifica Pier  —   On September 20, 2010 Catherine Barry and her son David went fishing on the Pacifica Pier located in western San Mateo County. It was
6:00 PM and they had been fishing for about 1 hour. They were about 100 yards from the beach. Catherine reported the following; “My son had just caught and released a crab when he called out to me to come and look at something in the water. It was a shark, about 6 feet in length, swimming leisurely at the surface. It did not appear to be hunting any fish or other marine prey. Several spectators threw squid and other bait near the shark, but it did not eat any of the bait. The shark remained in the area for about 30 minutes before departing.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On September 20, 2010 David Black reported the following; “I was surfing this morning with three friends at Sunset Beach. The surf was 2 – 4 feet with a slight chop. The three surfers, my friends and I were about 75 feet offshore. At 9:00 AM we witnessed, along with several other surfers in the water, a 10 – 12 foot white shark fully breach the water. The shark surfaced almost directly next to the buoy.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Malibu Beach  —   On September 18, 2010 Mitchell Miller and Glen Tull were surfing at First Point, Surfrider Beach, Malibu. Miller reported the following;“Glen and I were surfing First Point, Malibu with 3 – 4 foot surf, glassy conditions and no one else out in the water except for a lone kneeboarder. The time was approximately 3:10 AM. There was a good night visibility even though the sky was overcast with a marine layer. Glen commented; ‘there sure are a lot of fish jumping around out here.' I believe the small fish were grunion. No sooner had Glen made his comment when suddenly, a Great White Shark came breaching straight up out of the water no more than 10 feet outside of him. I was sitting on my surfboard only 10 feet away from Glen when this occurred and could clearly see the massive white under belly. Glen then asked,‘What the hell was that?' I replied, 'Dude, it's a Great White Shark- Let's split!' We both caught a set wave in to the beach. We both felt we were very fortunate to have seen the shark so close up and not to be bit by it. The shark appeared to be at least 2 feet wide and at least 10 feet long. When the lone kneeboarder made it back to the beach, he said the shark was jumping so close to him that he was getting soaked by its splashes. He initially thought the creature was a dolphin, until he noticed its massive girth. When asked as to how big he felt the actual size of the shark was, his reply was; 'it was as big as a car.'" Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On September 18, 2010 Scott at SunsetSurf.com reported the following from Grady; “It was about 1:45PM on Saturday when I turned and just caught the last bit of what looked like a shark with a white belly crashing back into the water. I was somewhere between the stairs and the life guard tower a little further out than most people in the lineup.  The shark breached about 100 yards South of where I was. I didn't get a great look at it so it's hard to say how big it was, however, I would guess 7 – 9 feet in length. Only one other person that I talked to saw the shark breach.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On September 17, 2010 Christian Garner was surfing 'Old Man's' at San Onofre State Beach. It was 7:45 AM and he had been on the water 45 minutes. It was overcast with an estimated air temperature of 57 degrees Fahrenheit. There were chest high waves with smooth conditions and a slight offshore wind. The water temperature estimated at 60 degrees Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Garner recalled; “I had been surfing for approximately 45 minutes and was paddling back out after a long ride. A larger set was coming through, so I paddled slightly past the line up to catch my breath. While sitting on my board, a shark jumped out of the water in a vertical trajectory approximately 50 yards directly in front of me. The shark's body did not come completely out of the water; I would estimate approximately 50% to 75% of the shark came clear. The body was in a turning motion, and was huge. The shark fell back in the water and disappeared. The episode was quite violent and fast.  The shark was grey and white with an estimated length of 12 feet, when considered relative to stand up surfers typically seen at that distance. I remained in the water for another 30 minutes (there were lots of people), but remained in a little closer. No other sightings.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Rodeo Beach  —   On September 16, 2010 Ryan Jung was surfing at Rodeo Beach, Fort Cronkhite near the Marin Headlands, Marin County. It was 9:45 AM and he had been on the water about 90 minutes. It was foggy with air and water temperatures estimated at 59 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The ocean was choppy with water depth 8 – 12 feet. A single pinniped was observed in the area prior to the encounter. Jung reported; “I was s itting on my surfboard waiting for waves approximately 100 feet from shore at the North end of Rodeo Cove, Fort Cronkhite, near the cliffs. I spotted a large, grey dorsal fin break the surface of the water followed by a vertically oriented caudal fin. The dorsal fin was 18 – 22 inches high and shaped like a right triangle, while the caudal fin was smaller in height. Both fins traveled level and were only revealed when the incoming swell trough dropped to expose them, the straight line of travel convinced me instantly that I was looking at a shark not a mammal. The shark was just outside the line up about 75 feet away. It was traveling towards me so I got out of the water quickly.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On September 16, 2010 Gerry Wallfesh reported the following; “I saw 2 breaches' today while Stand Up Paddle surfing at Sunset Beach. The first occurred around 6:55AM approximately 50 feet North of the buoy. The shark was 6 – 8 feet in length. There were 2 surfers closer to the point than me and they left the water shortly thereafter. Randy Wright was taking photos from the rocks and also witnessed the breaching. The second breach took place in the same vicinity (North of the buoy) at around 8:00AM. The shark was the same approximate length and color (same shark?). I was closer to the point this time, and there were maybe 4 or 5 surfers near the stairs, when the shark breached. Randy was also present. The surf was 1 – 3 feet, with a slight wind chop and it was sunny. I paddled out to the splashdown area both times, and did not see any fish in the water in this area. A pod of about 8 or 10 dolphins did swim in from off-shore to the breaching vicinity around 8:15AM. I paddled with them briefly, and then they swam to the South.“ Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

La Jolla  —   On September 14, 2010 Sofia Smallstorm reported the following: “I was swimming by myself at around 3:45 PM. I was approximately 1/4 mile from shore at the ‘A' buoy (first yellow buoy). The day was clear, the water was 62 degrees and there was a bit of a breeze. I was on my way back to shore when the shark crossed beneath me. It was about 5 or 6 feet under me, swimming very purposefully. The visibility was not great, but I saw a solid jumbo-jet-shaped, somewhat rigid, body under me that seemed light gray in color and about 4 feet long. I did not get a chance to see fins or a tail, but I do not think it was a sea lion, due to the shape and the way it was swimming. I continued to swim, as there was no point doing anything else. I did feel a bit nervous after a while -- especially worried about my feet kicking behind me. I reported this to the lifeguards when I got back in. The shark had a very strong-looking body.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.  

 

Cayucos  —   On September 10, 2010 Aaron reported the following; “One of my friends sent me the attached photograph of a shark that he came across while walking along a beach at the South end of Cayucos, located in San Luis Obispo County.” The shark appears to be a juvenile Salmon Shark, Lamna ditropis. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee. 

 

Latigo Point  —   On September 10, 2010 Brent Mandel was Stand Up Paddle Boarding some 50 – 75 yards from shore at Latigo Point, located about one mile North of the Malibu Pier, Malibu. It was about 11:40 AM and he had been on the water 2 hours. The sky was clear and there was no detectible breeze with air and water temperatures estimated in the mid-60s and upper 50s Fahrenheit, respectively. One California Sea Lion, Zalophus californianus, was observed in the area prior to the encounter. Mandel reported; “I was told by another surfer of what appeared to be a dead California Sea Lion. My morbid curiosity took me to check it out before ending my surf session. Once at the location of the dead Sea Lion I observed a large wound to the rear 1/3 of the animal's torso, round in shape about 10 – 12 inches in diameter. It appeared to be a bite. As I went to paddle away, the carcass rolled and I saw a dorsal fin dart away and then a vertical tail splash. I sat down on my board and watched as a White Shark, 5 – 6 feet in length, timidly did a figure eight at a depth of 2 – 4 feet below the surface. It appeared to be deciding whether to eat the rest of the Sea Lion. The shark had a dorsal fin about 12 inches high with a defined demarcation between the light grey on top of the body and lighter color below. I slowly paddled away, watching to see if the shark was interested in me, but it appeared to not even notice or care I was there.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Montara State Beach  —   On September 6, 2010 Andrew Swallow was surfing at Montara State Beach, which is located about 20 miles South of San Francisco and 8 miles North of Half Moon Bay. It was 11:30AM and he had been on the water about 45 minutes. The sky was clear with air and water temperatures estimated in the mid60s and upper 50s Fahrenheit, respectively. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Swallow reported; “I was surfing the South end of Montara State Beach when I noticed a 1.5 – 2 foot dorsal fin moving South about 25 yards away from me. As soon as I saw the fin I knew what it was. I watched the fin travel across the surface of the water for about 30 seconds, then I started to paddled to a nearby surfer to alert him. A wave crashed and pushed me to the beach, but I signed the guy to get out. There were about 4 other surfers in the water just South of us. We tried to alert them also. One guy came in and said he saw something but he could not make it out as it was too far from him. I surf these waters almost every day and I am familiar with the shark's common to this area. After comparing the size and shape of the fin I saw with sharks common to the Pacific Coast it was almost identical to that of a Great White Shark.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.   

 

Bodega Bay  —   On September 2, 2010 Bob Norberg of the Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, reported the following; “A Great White Shark, with a Sea Lion in its mouth, was seen at Doran Beach, Bodega Bay, long considered one of the safest places on the North Coast for surfing, kayaking and swimming.'I have been out here a long time and I have had nothing reported that close, except between Seal Rock and the jetty a long time ago,' said James MacMillan, the supervising ranger at the county beach. ‘Within our bay I have not heard of anything.' The sighting comes as the park gets ready for the Labor Day weekend, expecting 300 beachgoers a day and with its 138-site campground full. The sighting was at 10:30 a.m. and viewed by visitors who were standing on a beach area called the Board Walk across from the U.S. Coast Guard station. ‘They saw about 200 yards out a Great White Shark that came up with a sea lion in its mouth, having a nice little feast on it,' MacMillan said. ‘It was about 18 feet long. There was a pool of blood in the water afterwards.' MacMillan said he considered the sighting credible and rangers warned beachgoers, but the only people out were those wading in shallow water. Rangers also were advising everyone coming in to the park of the sighting. There have been an unusually large number of shark sightings along the California Coast this summer, the last one a week ago in Pacifica, plus two incidents in which sharks attacked kayakers in central and Southern California. Sharks are more commonly seen at Salmon Creek, where there have been several attacks on surfers. A shark was seen there by the Sonoma County sheriff's helicopter a month ago. There was also a shark seen by a surfer at Bolinas on August 7 and one was photographed August 23 at Stillwater Cove north of Fort Ross.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Santa Monica  —   On September 2, 2010 Erik Crown was surfing at Santa Monica at Bay Street. It was 7:00 AM and he had been on the water about one hour. The sky was overcast and foggy with the ocean calm and flat. Two Dolphins were observed about 5 minutes prior to the encounter. Crown reported; “I was surfing this morning, the water was very flat and I was at Bay Street, Santa Monica. I noticed two dolphins swimming past the break area. About 5 minutes after the Dolphin passed I thought I noticed a shark fin. It was gliding, not looping like dolphins. It was following a similar path, then I saw the shark's tail fin and then it was gone. I cannot be sure 100% what I saw was a shark, but I have been surfing there for 5 years and have never really been alarmed or noticed any sharks before other than Thresher Sharks around the Venice Breakwater. I had been getting a weird vibe there for the last few days, but today was uncomfortable. The other thing is that I never saw any body just what looked like a triangle then it submerged.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Linda Mar Beach  —   On August 30, 2010 Police issued a warning to all beach goers that a ‘Great White Shark was observed devouring a Sea Lion about 200 yards from shore West of the Taco Bell at Linda Mar Beach, Pacifica, which is located 10 miles South of San Francisco.' Pacifica Police said witnesses on the beach reported seeing a ‘gigantic' Great White Shark, 18 – 25 feet in length, thrashing in blood stained water with a Sea Lion in its mouth at about 1:00 PM. Immediately following the predatory attack, two men in a small boat moved up and down the beach warning surfers and swimmers to get out of the water. Signs warning beach goers of the shark incident were posted later in the day. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Santa Monica  —   On August 29, 2010, Patrick Smith reported the following; “Andy Saxon, his wife Gaye, Cindy Shaw and I were aboard the 25 foot dive vessel ‘Moby Kate' when we encountered an approximately 8 – foot long juvenile male Great White Shark. The claspers were clearly visible when it swam by the vessel. We were about 1/4 mile off the South end of Santa Monica Beach, North of the Venice Breakwater, nearly straight out from Lifeguard Tower 26. Ironically at the time, we were underway to the Sunset Beach/Topanga area to see if we could actually see any of the GWS's that had been appearing there on an almost daily basis when Captain Saxon spotted the dorsal of this shark off Santa Monica. It was 08:15 AM and the water depth was 38 – 40 feet per fathometer. Surface water visibility was poor, probably no more than 6 – 8 feet with a glassy sea surface. The animal stayed around the boat coming closer then moving off for approximately 15 minutes. They are beautiful creatures in the water appearing to use almost no effort as they move. During that time the shark didn't appear to be feeding, though there were several bait balls of small fish in the area. On several of the shark's close passes by the ‘Moby Kate' photos were taken. After approximately 15 minutes the shark submerged and we continued up to Sunset Beach. Several hours of observation there was non-productive. They are amazing creatures and it was a privilege to have been able to encounter this one.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On August 27, 2010 Eric Spillman of KTLA News, reported the following; “I admit, I was skeptical, but now I'm convinced. We came out to Sunset Beach in Pacific Palisades, following reports of great white shark sightings off the coast here. Cameraman Vic Anastasia and I stood here for hours; on the odd chance we might see one. We did see dolphins and sea lions.  We did not see any sharks. Then, at around 9:15 AM, we saw what looked to be a 7-foot-long white shark flopping near the surface, maybe 40 feet from the shore. There were a lot of surfers in the water before the sighting. Only a few stayed after they heard about the shark.” A juvenile white shark can be seen feeding upon possibly a halibut, skate, or small ray, based on the color of the organism and its perceived shape. The video can be viewed at: http://blogs.ktla.com/news_custom_eric/ . Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On August 26, 2010 Lance O. was flying reconnaissance in his helicopter with a client. He was over Gladstone's Restaurant and the Bel Air Bay Club at Sunset Beach. He observed what appeared to be the same 5 sharks that had been at this location the prior six days. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 


Sunset Beach
 —   On August 25, 2010 Lance O. was flying a reconnaissance mission in his helicopter for a client. He was about 600 yards from the beach in front of the Bel Air Bay Club at Sunset Beach. He estimated the White Shark and surfer to be the same distance, about 600 yards from shore. The shark circled the surfer several times then departed (top and middle picture).





Sunset Beach
 —   On August 24, 2010 Lance O. was again flying reconnaissance in his helicopter. He was 500 – 1,000 yards from the beach in front of Gladstone's Restaurant. He observed a very large White Shark, estimated at 18 feet or more, near the surface. As he began a slow decent to observe the shark, it ‘spy hopped' (raised its head out of water) and appeared to be looking up at the helicopter. After several seconds it then submerged and swam leisurely in the area during the entire time of the observation (bottom picture). Lance stated that he had been over this location 5 days in a row and had observed at least 5 sharks in the area during each trip. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

 

Sunset Beach  —   On August 25, 2010 Scott at SunsetSurf.com received the following report from S. H.; “I saw our shark friend today around 7:30 AM. I saw a splash in my peripheral vision a few hundred feet out and when I asked the 2 surfers I was next to they said it was definitely a shark, 8 – 10 feet in length with a white belly. The three of us paddled a bit farther into the lineup, as if that would make a difference. We talked about sharks and joked about keeping our feet out of the water. None of the 30 or so surfers seemed phased. I would have paddled in if there weren't such nice sets coming in. Anyhow this is the second time I've seen this guy. The last time, about a year ago, it did a full spinning breech that many people saw. I didn't report it because I thought somebody else would.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Pismo Beach  —   On August 24, 2010 Colleen R. was surfing one mile South of the Pismo Beach Pier, Pismo State Beach. It was about 1:00 PM with air and water temperatures estimated at 83 and 58 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. There were two surfers about 30 yards from the shore. A small pod of Dolphins had moved through the area a few minutes before Colleen came ashore and sat in a chair. She reported; “I was sitting in my chair looking at the two surfers when I noticed a number of sea birds hovering above the water about 30 yards beyond the surfers. I watched this activity for about 10 minutes when a big shark, more than 10 feet, jumped vertically out of the water, clearing the surface by 2 – 3 feet. The shark was dark grey on top and white on the belly. The shark coming out of the water is not something you typically see and it took me a minute before I even processed what I had just seen. It was very cool, but I'm extremely happy I was on the beach. The shark jumped out of the water probably no more than 30 yards beyond the two surfers.“ Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On August 22, 2010 Scott at SunsetSurf.com received the following report from Jack Pitts; “It seems there have been plenty of shark sightings at Sunset this past week, but not a lot of people reporting them, so I figure I'd do the honors for research-sake (I thank you - RSC). I've been in the lineup every day since Sunday, and I'm reporting two instances of shark sightings and another sighting from a fellow surfer, all on Sunday. I entered the water around 5 PM and surfed for about 3 hours. I was the furthest out when I noticed a large swirling commotion about 20 feet in front of my board at the point. My first thought was it was a boil typical of Sunset, but it was much bigger than the normal boils and not the right shape, then two birds came darting from the parking lot at top speed to dive on this ‘boil.'  This keyed me to start paddling backwards away from the commotion in the water. I was on a 10 foot board and the ‘boil' was the same size as my board. The gulls circled and dove for a moment, perhaps looking for scraps, then took off. I mentioned this event to a surfer next to me and he said he saw a shark breach about 10 minutes earlier about 100 yards off the point. He pointed out it was definitely a shark. I believe him because after word of a shark sighting started making the rounds in the lineup, someone else shouted, shark, after a splash 50 yards from shore. About 30 minutes later, when exiting the water, I saw a breach about 300 yards off shore. I only saw the back half of the shark, but it had a vertical tail fin and was thin towards the tail. My guess would be a Great White Shark no bigger than 8 feet, although I only saw about 4 feet of the back half. I was glad to be getting out of the water, but didn't stop me from surfing the next 2 days, where every surfer with whom I talked, seemed to have similar recent stories at Sunset. I'm about to head into the water now, so wish me luck.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On August 22, 2010 John Derevlany and Mark Palmer were surfing South of Gladstone's parking lot at Sunset Beach. It was 7:00 AM and they had been on the water about 30 minutes. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Derevlany reported; “We were waiting for waves just South of the parking lot when we saw this 8 – 10 foot shark breech completely out of the water near the buoy. At its peak, the entire body of the shark was at least three feet above the water's surface. Then it flopped into the water, with a big, thudding splash. It had none of the grace of a dolphin. It looked similar to some of the other ‘great whites' we've seen there in the past year or so. Mark and I both saw the breech, as did several other surfers. Since the shark was about 200 yards from the line-up, and no one was getting attacked, we continued surfing for another hour or so, and did not see it again.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On August 22, 2010 Peter Gazley was surfing the break known as Cottons, located one mile North of Lower Trestles, which is one of several surfing locations at San Onofre State Beach. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the upper 70s and low 60s Fahrenheit, respectively. The sky was clear and sunny with the surf 3 – 6 feet. The water was 8 – 15 feet deep with 3 – 5 feet of visibility. Kelp canopies were located 200 yards beyond the lineup. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Gazley reported; “While setting in the lineup I saw a shark, 8 – 10 feet in length, breach 50 yards from lineup. After breaching the shark circled the surfers in the area for several minutes. On Monday, august 23, 2010, I observed what appeared to be a smaller shark, 6 – 8 feet in length, breach, then circle several surfers, as the day before. The surfers could see the shadow of the shark as it was circling them.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.  

 

Sunset Beach  —   On August 20, 2010 Desiree Horton, helicopter pilot and TV Journalist, posted the following on her Facebook; "Today we were chasing all kinds of stories, but the most fun ones were of course cruising the coast near Santa Monica in search of a closed bike path. On our way back North I was looking for sharks in the water as this is shark season, and of course I spotted one very close to the shore (Arrow), just South of Gladstones, I think that's Sunset Beach. Anyway, pretty cool to watch it from above, so close to the surfers and then a lifeguard boat that noticed it tried to scare it away, didn't work." Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Marina del Rey  —   On August 20, 2010 Kathy Krasenics reported the following; “It was about 3:15 PM when I saw a school of Leopard Sharks (Triakis semifasciata) at Mother's Beach in Marina Del Rey. There were 50 – 60 swimming in a row, back and forth between the boat ramp and the beach by the new Best Western. There were 3 other people viewing them. I walked into the water to see them as I had also viewed about 7 leopard sharks last night (8/19) at 6:00 PM. I wanted to take some photos this time. I had gone back this morning at 8:00 AM and didn't see any sharks. The sharks would slowly come up to us and check us out, but then would swim away in a hurry once they got within 3 or 4 feet of our legs. But they kept swimming back and forth, methodically. A friend who's a paddler said they have been there all summer long. I viewed them for about 20 minutes then left. Last night I viewed the 7 sharks for about an hour. There were also lots of plate sized sting rays swimming along with them. I saw about 30 last night." Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Stillwater Cove  —   On August 20, 2010 Justin Smith and his dive companions; Eric, Kahi, and Lee were at Stillwater Cove, an inlet between the town of Fort Ross and Salt Point State Park in Northern California. Justin reported the following; “We spent the first hour in 15 feet of water showing Lee how to abalone dive. It was his first time out. He pulled an ab and then went in early because he got sea sick. I moved out into 30 feet of water to shoot my new 100 cm gun for the first time. Eric stayed near the rocks and worked on a big scallop he found. I lined up 2 Blue Rockfish, Sebastes mystinus, and hit them both with one shot. I moved to deeper water, about 35 feet, looking for Vermillion, Sebastes miniatus ,(aka Red Snapper) . About 300 yards South of the North point at Stillwater Cove are some pinnacles that drop off to 50 feet. The sea floor was covered with rocks the size of cars and a lot of caves and cracks. I had completed a dive and pushed off the bottom with my spear tip so I wouldn't damage my C4 carbon fins and started kicking up to the surface. As I broke the surface it felt like a wave crashed on me and my body rocked side to side. I looked to my left and at arm's reach I saw the white underside of a 3 foot long by 2 foot wide pectoral fin. I could also see the white belly and the black speckling where the body color of a Great White Shark transitions from light underneath to dark grey on top. The shark was swimming full speed, peeling off of an attack and heading back down into blue gray water below me. I could feel the water rushing past my leg as the shark swam by. I pulled my head up and glanced around for the closest rocks to climb up onto. The rocks were about 300 yards to the North. I started swimming as fast as I could towards the rocks. I kept my eyes fixed on the water below me. I expected that the shark was going to come back for a second pass. After kicking in shear panic for a few minutes I pulled my head out of the water and realized that I had curved off of my path and I was headed straight out to sea. I turned back toward the rocks and continued to swim at full speed. After a few minutes I pulled my head up to check my progress and again I was heading straight out to sea, but this time I had almost circled completely back around to where I had seen the shark. That is when I forced myself to calm down and started kicking at a slower pace in a straight line. When I got to within about 100 yards of the rocks I relaxed a little. I swam up to the rocks where my friend Eric was diving for scallops. The water was about 15 feet deep there and full of kelp. I felt pretty safe at that point. I told Eric ‘Hey man, we got to go. I just about got bit by a White Shark. That got his attention. We packed up our dive boards and 5 minutes later I was sitting on the beach very happy to still be in one piece, but a little shaken up. Our friend Kahi and Lee had gotten out earlier. Kahi came running down from the bluff and said that he thought he saw one of us killed by a shark. He said that he saw a diver's head and shoulders break the water and next to the diver all kinds of thrashing. What Kahi had seen was the shark breaking the surface next to me after pulling out of the attack at the last minute.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Point Mugu  —   On August 17, 2010 Robert Strubeck and his brother Jared were kayak fishing 200 yards from shore and one mile South of Mugu Rock in Point Mugu near the town of Port Hueneme and the city of Oxnard. It was 11:30 AM and they had been on the water 1 hour. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the upper 60s and low 50s Fahrenheit, respectively. There was a light overcast with the ocean swell 1 – 2 feet. Water visibility was 10 – 15 feet. Patchy areas of kelp were scattered throughout the area. An undetermined number of pinnipeds were observed in the area, most on the beach. Strubeck reported the following; “My younger brother and I were heading South of Mugu Rock searching for kelp beds to do a little fishing. On our way back we had moved further out to sea to continue our search. The fog bank on the shore had gotten noticeably more considerable so we decided to head closer to the beaches. As we were moving in, a ~1' to 1.5' dorsal fin surfaced about 10 yards right in front of us. The shark was moving in tight circles and widened its movements as we pulled our paddles into the craft. The shark slowly moved to within 5 feet of us and we noticed its size, about 8 – 10 feet in length.  We had gained some distance from the shark after we realized what it was that we were watching. Sitting about 30 yards away we observed the fin moving in slow circles and then dive after about 3 minutes. The dorsal fin was dark gray in color with a smooth front surface and jagged edged back.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Carpenteria  —   On August 16 & 17, 2010 John Abraham was Paddleboarding off Padaro Lane about 1/2 mile up the beach from Santa Claus Lane Beach in Carpenteria, California. Both encounters occurred about 7:00 AM at the same exact location. It was foggy with the ocean glassy to mild bump and 10 – 15 feet deep. Both times he had been on the water about 45 minutes. No marine mammals were observed in the area on either day. Abraham reported; “I was paddling up the beach from south to North about 200 yards offshore. The first encounter the shark aggressively (as if it had just taken a fish) surfaced about 20 yards from me. The fin was about the size of a big dolphin fin. It surfaced in such a way that I was able to see, first its main body fin and then a second tail fin. The distance between the two fins was perhaps 4 to 6 feet. It then went under water again after perhaps 5 or 10 seconds. On the second encounter the next day, in hopes of avoiding the shark, I paddled right off the surf line in small waist high wind swell. As I paddled up the beach, in the exact location of the previous encounter the day before (except I was closer to shore, perhaps 50 yards). The shark swam by me, parallel to my board, but in the opposing direction about 20 feet from me. This time I could only see perhaps 6 inches of fin sticking out of the water. I paddled to the beach and watched the shark swim around for about 30 minutes, 200 yards offshore. In both cases there were birds feeding or circling very near the shark. The shark stayed in a very small area for the entire time. It was still there when I walked down the beach and hopped back in the water to paddle home.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On August 16, 2010 Mike Johnson and George Flambures were accompanied by several friends that were wave skiers and Stand Up Paddle Boarders . It was about 9:00 AM and they had been on the water 45 – 60 minutes. The sky was overcast with a clearing fog and an estimated air temperature in the upper 60s Fahrenheit. The sea was glassy smooth with 10 feet or more of water visibility and an estimated temperature in the upper 50s Fahrenheit. They were about 200 yards from shore. No marine mammals were observed in the area. George and Mike provided the following information; “(George) I observed a White Shark inside of my location, swimming very rapidly in circles, chasing baitfish about 200 feet off of the beach. The shark then submerged and was not seen again for several minutes. (Mike) Several minutes later the shark returned and approached George's board. The shark swam by very slowly on its side to get a look at George. (George) I could see the eye looking at me as the shark swam past my board, which is 10 feet 6 inches. The White Shark was as long as my board. (Mike) Most of the group saw the shark at least once before it finally departed.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On August 16, 2010 Abby Joseph and her son were Stand Up Paddle Boarding at Dog Patch, San Onofre State Beach. It was 8:30 AM and they had been on the water about 10 minutes. The sky was overcast with a light fog. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the mid-60 Fahrenheit. The ocean was flat and glassy with small waves. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Joseph reported; “I was Stand Up Paddle Boarding with a 10' 3" board, orange bottom, yellow paddle. I first saw the shark when I had just paddled out. I noticed a fin about 20 feet out, Northwest from my location. I was pretty much by myself, except for my son who was nearby on a longboard. There was a group of about five standup paddlers and watercraft South of me. I pointed out the fin to my son. He did not see it. I saw the fin disappear, and did not see the shark swim away. I just thought I may have been imagining something. I continued to paddle around and catch waves. A group of guys were on the South end of Dog Patch and they remarked that a shark was swimming right by where I had been and told me to stay in the group and not fall off the board. The guys who talked to me had gone in. I kept talking to my son about it and he said if I really saw a shark I wouldn't still be in the water. Right then, we heard some guys in the water talking about there being a ‘big one.' I looked over and about 40 feet away saw the shark swimming through the group of SUP's and kayaks/watercraft. I was able to see the fins and by the way the shark moved it was clearly not a dolphin. The dorsal fin was triangular, with part cut out. The second time I saw the dorsal fin, another fin, and the tail were also visible. It just skimmed the water and swam in and out of their group within just feet of the men. My son and I got out of the water. I think we had enough for the day. On the beach, I talked to the guys who had seen the shark. One of the men who had been near the shark said that it was about 10 feet long, which he said was as long as his paddle board.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Venice Breakwater  —   On August 16, 2010 Alison Hughes was surfing with her 13 year-old brother at the beach break near the Venice Breakwater. It was about 4:30 PM and they had been on the water 45 minutes. It was overcast and hazy with air and water temperatures estimated at 70 and 52 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. Water visibility was equal to the depth of 10 feet as the sandy ocean bottom was clearly visible from the surface. The surf was poor, 1 – 2 feet, with a local onshore wind swell prominent. Hughes reported; “I was teaching my 13 year old brother how to surf so I was standing up to my chest in the water while he paddled on my board close to me. I was watching the surf come in so that I could push him into the waves and right before a small set came in I noticed a fin. I have seen a lot of dolphins and for a second assumed that's what I was looking at until I noticed it moving in an unusual manner. As I realized that I was looking at a shark my brother and I quickly shuffled to the shore. It stayed near the rocks. The fin was sporadically visible as I remained on the shore watching for it. I told the life guards who scoffed and said it was a seal or a dolphin. At one point, the lifeguard told me that even if it was a shark it was okay. This was unnerving, to say the least but I continued watching the fin for about twenty minutes before I left the breakwater. I am certain this was a shark. The difference in motion and aesthetics was easily discerned. The fin was roughly 18 – 22 inches and dark gray in color. I was not close enough to the shark to obtain an accurate assessment of his size.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

La Jolla  —   On August 15, 2010 Mike Lee, Staff Writer, Union-Tribune, San Diego, posted the following: “Shark sightings prompt warnings at La Jolla. San Diego lifeguards are warning beachgoers to be alert after two reported sightings of a possible Great White Shark on Sunday afternoon, one by a kayaker and the other by a lifeguard, said Maurice Luque, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman. He said lifeguards are advising beach visitors on Monday ‘to use their own judgment as to whether or not they want to go into the water.' The advisory spans the area from La Jolla Cove to the Scripps Pier. It is among the most heavily used coastal zones in the region, drawing swimmers, kayakers, sun bathers and others. The first incident was Sunday morning when a kayaker said he spotted a shark about two miles offshore that was longer than his boat, said Lifeguard Sgt. Rich Stropky. At about 4:30 PM lifeguards in the main tower spotted a fin roughly 50 yards offshore near Tower 30 at the Southern end of Kellogg Park. Stropky said they just saw the fin for a couple of seconds, but it was ‘in character with a shark, not in character with a porpoise.' Lifeguards put an extra patrol boat in the water on Sunday afternoon and plan to continue precautionary measures on Monday. ‘We are not saying stay out of the water. We are saying this is a little unusual,' Stropky said. ‘We know that there are sharks out there in the water. What is unusual about this is that it came so close to the shore in an area where there are swimmers in the water.' Fear of sharks runs deep partly because, April 25, 2008, a swimmer was killed by a Great White Shark during a group workout near Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach.“ Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Pigeon Point  —   On August 14, 2010 Adam Coca was kayaking off Bean Hollow Beach just North of Pigeon Point, California. It was 10:00 AM and he had been on the water about 1 hour. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the upper and mid-50s Fahrenheit. He was ¼ to ½ mile off shore with an overcast, heavy fog, and little or no wind. He was over water 50 feet deep with 10 – 15 feet of visibility. No marine mammals were observed in the immediate area. The following was obtained from Adam Coca's written description with additional information provided by Allan Bushnel, Journalist, Santa Cruz Sentinel; “I was South of Bean Hollow Beach off those beaches toward Pigeon Point on the San Mateo coast. I stopped to fish in about 50 feet of water when I felt the shark strike the nose of my boat from below, like boom, then KABOOM! It flipped the boat over and I was half-way in the water. The shark was chewing on the bow of my boat while swimming in a circle. We must have done three or four circles like that with the shark pushing and chewing on my boat. I was finally able to climb atop my boat, while the shark continued to chew on the nose. My boat is 13 feet in length and the shark was at least as long, maybe longer. The Great White Shark became tangled in my leash and might have been distracted by the flailing paddle, which it did bite and severe my leash. The shark submerged and disappeared. I flipped my boat over and jumped in and hung on to the rails and braced myself, waiting for the next strike, which never came. I had made a distress call on my VHF radio which brought other kayakers to my location quickly. They helped me collect my floating gear that had been dislodged from the kayak when it flipped over. The bite marks on the bottom of the boat measured 18 inches at the widest portion of the arc, and the individual tooth marks were about 2 inches apart.” Blue arrows show points of individual tooth insertion. 'Interspace measurements' of this damage is comparable with those of a White Shark 5+ meters in length. This incident represents the fourth, authenticated, unprovoked shark attack from the Pacific Coast this year. It is the second known attack on a kayaker in less than two weeks. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Point Dume  —   On August 14, 2010 Gerry Wallfesh reported the following; “This morning I was SUP surfing at Little Dume in Malibu. I was paddling back to Westward Beach around 11:30 AM when I saw what looked like a Great White Shark. I was approximately 200 feet offshore near the entrance to Point Dume when I saw the shark. I observed the shark swim towards my board and then veer further offshore as we passed one another.  My board is 10' 6” and I would estimate the shark to be 8 – 10 feet in length with a grayish black color. Waves were 1 – 3 feet and there was a 1 – 2 foot swell/chop when I was paddling back to Westward Beach. Approximately 2 – 3 minutes after my sighting, as I continued my paddle back, there were a few Dolphins nearby that were slapping their tails against the ocean surface repeatedly. In addition, approximately 15 minutes after the sighting, I saw another pod of Dolphins near Tower 5 at Westward Beach. There were approximately 10 Dolphins in the pod and they were maybe 50 feet offshore. They remained in this spot for a few minutes.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On August 14, 2010 Jonathan Cohen was surfing at Sunset Beach, California. It was 8:30 AM and he had been on the water about 20 minutes. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the upper-60s Fahrenheit. The sky was overcast and the surf was described as ‘slight onshore.' No marine mammals were observed in the area. Cohen reported; “I was sitting with five or so other surfers at the North end of Sunset Beach about 40 yards offshore. About 100 yards from us toward the horizon a shark breached completely out of the water, shot straight up, then flipped back into the sea. From our distance it was difficult to make out any details other than its underside was white and it was easily 6 feet in length.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On August 13, 2010 the following incident was reported by Lance O. On August 10, 2010 he was flying a reconnaissance mission in his helicopter. He was over Sunset Beach with a 33 foot companion vessel below his location. He observed a total of 3 White Sharks in front of Gladstone's Restaurant, 200 – 300 yards off the beach. The following photographs were taken during this brief observation period of 5 – 10 minutes.



Lance reported that one of theWhite Sharks was about 12 feet in length and the other two were estimated at 16 feet in length. During one surface maneuver, one of the larger sharks swam close to the boat, which allowed for a length estimate based on the known size of the boat. His estimate of 16 feet is based on the shark appearing to be nearly half the length of the 33 foot boat. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Oceanside Beach  —   On August 13, 2010 Kai Nuuhiwa reported; “On Friday, August 13 2010, around 11:05 AM, I was paddling outside the North side of Oceanside Pier. I am a City of Oceanside, surf instructor. I was past the bait house in between the bathrooms when I and two surf camp teenage students spotted a shark, about 6 feet long. We immediately paddled into shore while half dozen students observed the shark passing by, heading North toward the Harbor Jetty. A report was filed with the lifeguards who seemed unconcerned and simply said 'it happens' as I encouraged everyone out of the water.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On August 11, 2010 Jim Serpa, Supervising Park Ranger, Doheny State Beach, was snorkeling at Dogpatch, a well utilized location at San Onofre State Beach. Serpa reported the following; “ Chuck Patterson and Brian Lane's story made me inquisitive, so Lifeguard Mike Brousard and I went down on the boat today. We got there and looked all around the area including Trail1 and didn't see anything. It was shallow and clear, so I jumped in and snorkeled around for about 30 minutes or so. I observed baitfish in the area, including grunion. Water was only 7 – 10 feet deep with visibility about 10 feet.  When the boat pulled back over to me and waived me to come back I started to kick over. They waived me over faster and said ‘get in quick.' I thought ‘why, is there a call we need to go to?' They said, ‘the shark is right in front of the boat.' I scrambled up and in, but the shark was on the side of the boat now. It was about 6 feet in length and was just cruising around. No doubt about it, White Shark for sure. We followed it for a minute or two and it started to head off to the right, at that time Lifeguard Grant Howard, the deckhand, yelled, Jim look over here. I looked and saw there was another smaller shark right in front of the boat. This second shark was thinner and shorter by about a foot. So we had two sharks. Cruising by for so long I wanted to get in and have a look below the water, but thought that would be stupid since I have no idea if that would spook them or even cause them to get aggressive....not what I need, that's for sure.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee. 

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On August 10, 2010 Chuck Patterson was Stand Up Paddleboarding off Dogpatch Beach, San Onofre State Beach. It was between 2:30 and 2:45 PM with recorded air and water temperatures of 73 and 66 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The sky was clear and there was a mild onshore breeze. He was about 250 yards from shore in 10 feet of water with the ocean floor primarily sand with scattered small statured kelps. Patterson reported; “I was on my board and looked behind me to see a White Shark, about 9 feet in length. I must have startled the shark as it quickly turned, striking the end of my board with its tail. It continued to circle my SUP slowly for about 5 minutes. During this period I was attempting to attach a Go-Pro camera to the end of an extension pole. During this activity I struck the surface of my board several times with the end of the pole. I believe this might have caused the shark to finally leave the area. Within 5 minutes a second, and smaller, White Shark appeared and began swimming around my board. By this time I had attached the camera to the pole and began taking video of the shark. It stayed in the area for about 10 minutes then swam off.” The video clearly shows a SAT tag near the base of the dorsal fin. Chuck's has posted the video and photographs on his web site and Facebook accounts. His web site can be accessed at; Chuck Patterson Sports . Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On August 10, 2010 Park Ranger Brian Lane was Stand Up Paddleboarding near the nuclear power plant at San Onofre State Beach. It was 5:00 PM and the sky was clear and the ocean calm and flat. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 80 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The water was 10 feet deep with visibility 10 – 15 feet. The ocean floor was a rocky reef with scattered areas of Eelgrass (Zostera marina) and Feather Boa Kelp (Egregia menziesii ). He had been on the water about 10 minutes. Lane reported; “I was stand up paddling near the nuclear power plant at San Onofre State Park. My board and I were facing the beach as I was trying to surf waves. I was approximately 100-200 yards off of the beach in about 10 feet of water. I could see the eel grass and sand on the bottom. There was no surf where I was when I observed an estimated 8 foot long White Shark approach my board in front of me (from the direction of the beach towards open- ocean). The White Shark swam directly towards my board 10 foot yellow paddleboard and passed under me. The shark was approximately 1 foot under water and swam almost directly under the entire length of my board. The dorsal fin of the shark was just under the surface of the water as I could see the ripples of the fin on the surface as the fin passed my paddle. During this time, I was looking straight down on the shark. After passing me, the shark disappeared into the glare on the top of the water. I stayed out another 30 minutes and did not see any sign of the shark again.“ Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Bolinas Beach  —   On August 7, 2010 D. King was surfing at the Bolinas Channel, on the Sea Drift sandbar, which is located 3 miles North of Stinson Beach. It was between 1:30 and 2:00 PM with an overcast foggy sky with an estimated air temperature in the mid-60s Fahrenheit. She had been on the water 1.5 hours and there was a light chop to the sea surface. King reported; “I was sitting on my board in the Bolinas Channel close to the right hand peak on the Sea Drift sandbar and looking out toward the horizon with the Southern-most end of Stinson Beach partially in my view. The surf conditions at the time were pretty marginal, crumbly mushy waves not breaking very fast about knee to thigh high. I was starting to think I wanted to go in so I was looking out to the horizon to see if I could catch a left hander into Bolinas which would require me to paddle across the channel to the other side. While I was watching for a left, that's when I saw the shark leap. It came completely out of the water so I could see the entire creature from nose to tail. The shark was about 30 yards away from me and the only reason I saw it is because it leapt completely out of the water. It looked to be 5 – 6 feet in length and from my angle I saw the underbelly which was white.  It was a cloudy day so I could be mistaken on the color and the silhouette didn't seem to be that of a Great White. The sighting only lasted an instant and no one else that I know of saw it jump.  Since it was fairly far away from me, I waited another 10 – 15 minutes before catching a wave into the beach.“ Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Imperial Beach  —   On August 6, 2010 Tawna Nielsen and an unidentified companion were observing the ocean while walking on the pier at Imperial Beach. The sky was clear and there was a moderate wind with the air temperature estimated at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Nielsen reported the following; “We were about 100 feet from the end of the pier when I noticed a fin at the surface. All I saw was the fin, I am unsure of how big it was, it was hard to estimate from where I was standing. There was a seal in the area swimming around the pier. The shark did not feed upon the seal while I was there, I just noticed it would slowly creep forward towards the seal, it was kind of staying in one spot then it would slowly move. We were unsure if it was a shark, so I sent a picture to my dad and he confirmed that it was.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On August 6, 2010 Ryan Anderson and Gary Anthony were Stand Up Paddle Surfing at Dog Patch, San Onofre State Beach. It was 8:30 AM and they had been on the water about 15 minutes. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 69 and 62 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The sky was overcast and the sea calm. Water visibility was greater than 10 feet as the shallow rocky ocean bottom was clearly visible from the surface. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Anderson reported; “Gary Anthony and I were Stand Up Paddling at Dog Patch for about 15 minutes when an 8 foot Great White Shark swam under Ryan's board. It was moving North towards Old Mans, approximately 3 feet below the surface. It was graceful and slow moving, looked like an F-16. I alerted the other kayakers and surfers in the area. I caught a wave and paddled back out and saw another, or perhaps, the same shark. I kept surfing for another 2 hours and never saw the shark again. I reported the incident to the Park Ranger as well.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Huntington State Beach  —   On August 4, 2010 Travis Beckman and an unidentified companion were fishing in front of Tower 9 at Huntington State Beach. It was 5:30 PM and they had been fishing for about 30 minutes. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 75 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The sky was clear with a mild breeze. The tide was ‘outgoing' with 1 – 3 foot swells. An adult California Sea Lion was observed in the area swimming South about 15 minutes prior to the shark sighting. Beckman reported; “I had just casted over a wave crashing in the shallows and looked to my left in mid-channel. I saw the dorsal fin and immediately notified my friend who also saw the shark. It was a large grey dorsal fin, probably 8 – 10 inches tall, triangular with a sharp tip and a relatively straight back side. My friend estimated the shark to be 8 – 10 feet in length and grey in color. He observed the shark from an elevated sand berm. The distance from the dorsal fin to the tail was 5 – 6 feet. A wave then crashed over the fin, and after the wave was gone I saw the fin once more until the next wave came, and then it was gone. The shark was swimming South towards the jetty and in the same direction as the Sea Lion.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.  

 

Gaviota State Beach  —   On August 2, 2010 Duane Strosaker was kayaking off Gaviota State Beach, Santa Barbara County. It was 12:40 PM and he had been on the water for 5 hours and 40 minutes. The sea was calm and the sky overcast and foggy with air and water temperatures estimated at 65 and 62 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. His sea kayak is 17.5 feet in length, 21 inches wide, red in color and made of fiberglass and plywood. He used a Greenland style paddle with long narrow blades. Water depth at this location is 100 fathoms. There were about a dozen sea lions at the mooring buoy for oil rig Hondo, which was his last stop before heading back to the mainland. Strosaker reported; “I left oil rig Hondo in my sea kayak at about noon to begin the 7 nautical mile crossing at a heading of 300 degrees to get back to Gaviota State Beach. My paddle speed was about 4 knots. Without warning at about 12:40 PM, when I was around 5 nautical miles from Gaviota State Beach, a Great White Shark, which I estimated to be at least 15 feet long, bit and held onto my kayak. It attacked from my left side, with its head coming up from the water only a few feet from my kayak. It bit my kayak where my left foot was located inside the hull, and its mouth wrapped half way around the hull. There was not a hard impact. The shark held onto my kayak for 10 – 15 seconds, during which it seemed relaxed and was not moving. Its head was huge. I put the left tip of my paddle against the shark's head, and I thought about hitting the shark, but I didn't want to anger it or make it thrash. After the longest 10 – 15 seconds in my life, the shark gently let go of the kayak and slid back into the water. I wasn't knocked off balance and did not have to brace. A few seconds later and about 15 – 20 feet in front of my kayak, I saw the tail fin of the shark break the surface and powerfully whip around, like the shark was coming back at me for a second strike, but it never happened. After waiting a few seconds I started paddling again. Frequently, I checked behind me to see if the shark was following, but I never saw it again. My kayak had teeth marks and punctures on the top and bottom, and water was leaking into it.” This is the third unprovoked shark attack reported from the Pacific Coast this year. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On August 2, 2010 Brad Cruz was surfing at Sunset Beach, Rocky Point, in front of the Gladstone's Restaurant parking lot. It was about 11:00 AM with a foggy overcast sky. Water visibility was 3 – 5 feet. Cruz reported; “I was 20 – 30 feet from the rocks, sitting on my shortboard, with 5 other surfers in the area, when suddenly we all observed a very large White Shark breach out of the water near the buoys. I saw the head, gills, white belly and pectoral fins with black tips. I would estimate its length at 14 feet or more. After it splashed back into the water, we all looked at each other and headed for shore.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On August 1, 2010 Fred Clark was surfing 25 yards from shore at Sunset Beach in front of Gladstone's parking lot. It was 2:00 PM and he had been on the water 30 minutes. It was sunny with a slight chop on the sea surface the result of a mild breeze. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 75 degrees and in the mid-60s Fahrenheit, respectively. Clark reported; “I was sitting in the lineup at the point, several sea birds caught my eye about 50 yards out and the water looked different where the birds were flying and diving. A large shark then jumped completely out of the water and half rolled on its side as it entered the water. Clearly visible were its black back and pectoral fins, could not see under belly as it rolled the other way. I mentioned this to the guy next to me and he said sightings were getting to be the norm at Sunset. I stayed in the water another hour and eventually paddled around the Gladstone's point to get out of the water and walk back up to Coastline Drive. I did not see the shark again although I was definitely looking.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Salmon Creek Beach  —   On July 28, 2010 Sgt. Dave Thompson, Sonoma County Sheriff Helicopter Search and Rescue Unit, accompanied by his flight crew, were involved in a reconnaissance mission along the Sonoma County coast. Between 2:00 – 3:00 PM, while flying over Salmon Creek Beach located between Jenner and Bodega Bay, they observed a White Shark, 16 – 18 feet in length, about 100 yards off the shore. There were several swimmers at South Salmon Creek Beach and a small pod of whales near Bodega Marine Lab. They alerted local authorities who informed the swimmers of the shark's presence. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Steamer Lane  —   On July 26, 2010 Marcus at Surfline.com received the following report from Brian Avants; “Today Steamer Lane (Santa Cruz – Westside) was pumping but was shut down for a surf contest so I headed to the East side. I paddled out at Little Windansea. Two guys were out. I got a few good sets that went all the way down but it was very inconsistent. About 20 minute waits for the overhead sets. One of the guys caught a smaller chest high one and I watched him ride it to the inside. I noticed a big body further toward the reef. An adult Sea Lion had a 3.5 foot Silver Salmon in its mouth which he just caught. It brought the still-living salmon all the way to the peak and swam around with it right in the take-off zone. The Sea Lion flipped it into the air like a dog playing with a toy. I talked with him a bit because the other surfers were down the beach and he was very close, about 10 – 20 feet away. I missed a couple waves because he was blocking the peak. It got bored with the tossing and splashing and started tearing the salmon apart. Pink chunks of fish were flying all over while some gulls showed up and started taking scraps. I was basically sitting in a big pool of chum, plus one of the other surfers had a pretty good cut on his finger, which I didn't know about at the time. This went on for about ten minutes and then the Sea Lion moved down the reef, towards the rock where they usually sit in the sun. I missed another set and was getting pretty desperate for a wave and started looking at a smaller one that was coming in.  I'm watching it as it rolls closer and starts to feel the reef, then noticed an abrupt discontinuity in the scene: a big, straight, vertical pole was cutting through the blue water to the West of the kelp line, about 10 meters behind the set wave which was about 10 – 15 meters from me. It was so tall and fast that I could hardly believe it was a fin. But it was coming at me like an arrow, so I spun and paddled for the little chest high peak. I stood up and started pumping down the line and yelled to Rafael, ‘Shark, Shark' while making a cutting fin symbol with my arm. But he'd already seen it and was freaking out, paddling for the rocks. Rafael later said it looked like a hundred gallon drum or one of the big break wall rocks. I didn't see its body, though, just its massive fin coming at me. The other dude (with the cut finger) paddled in too and said he saw it heading further East, but no one at Pleasure Point reported a shark.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Moonlight State Beach  —   On July 25, 2010 Jayme Timberlake and her husband were swimming at Moonlight State Beach, near Encinitas, in San Diego County. It was 9:00 AM and they had been in the water about 10 minutes. She was wearing a black and white bikini with a red cap. It was foggy and overcast with the air and water temperatures estimated at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea was somewhat choppy with small surf 1 – 3 feet. Water visibility was about 30 feet as the bottom could be clearly seen in 15 feet of water. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Timberlake recalled;“My husband and I were swimming the buoys at Moonlight State Beach and we turned around when we saw the fin. Both of us saw it, with my husband seeing serrations on the back of the fin, which was 10 – 12 inches high. The shark came up very briefly, 3 – 5 seconds, heading North and went under the water. We did not stick around to see where it went. We immediately turned around and swam quickly to the beach and reported the sighting to the lifeguard.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Topanga State Beach  —   On July 20, 2010 Scott at SunsetSurf.com reported the following from Ariel Ilinas; “A bunch of us just got chased out of the water at Topanga State Beach around noon by a big Great White Shark. I didn't see it but all I heard in the water were a bunch of surfers screaming like little girls out at the point. One of the surfers said the dorsal fin was about 2 feet high and the shark was huge. Several observed a lot of commotion and splashing near the shark. That's all I needed and paddled like a maniac out of the water.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Solana Beach  —   On July 18, 2010 Chris Maulik was surfing with an unidentified companion at Fletcher Cove, Solana Beach, located between Encinitas to the North and Del Mar to the South. It was 11:00 AM and they had been on the water about 30 minutes. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the mid-60s Fahrenheit. The sky was overcast and there was a brisk wind. The water was about 10 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Maulik reported;“A dorsal fin that looked nothing like a Dolphin fin rose up out of the water about 30 yards outside of my friend and I. We were about 50 yards from the shore. The swimming motion was nothing like that of a Dolphin and the size of the fin was also larger than any Dolphin I have ever seen. The fin was white to grey and straight with no concavity on the back of the fin. The shark swam parallel to the shore and not towards us. We both paddled in.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Pacific Ocean  —   On July 18, 2010 Robert Gerard reported the following; “Although an avid surfer, I had a “non” surfing shark encounter yesterday that was really interesting to me and my 5 year old son. We were in my 18 foot Center Console Grady White fishing boat travelling on a direct line from Newport Harbor to Avalon, Catalina to have lunch and play putt putt golf and do a bit of fishing. About ½ way across the channel a shark dorsal fin and tail fin appeared directly in front of my vessel. The dorsal fin was ‘maybe' 10 or 12 inches high. I was going really fast (22 MPH) and I immediately down throttled and turned the boat as we went past the shark so my little boy could get a good up close look at a shark.  It was 6 to 8 feet, at most, in length. The dorsal fin had a very clear and distinct white tip about 2 or 3 inches in diameter directly at the top of the dorsal. As I turned the boat around I thought the shark would bolt but it didn't. It backed off about 20 feet and then came right back at the boat. It swam alongside my boat from stern to bow within 3 feet of the boat and then lingered for a few seconds off the starboard bow. As the boat drifted closer it came right up against the boat, and as weird as this sound, it appeared to smack the side of my boat with its tail. It then took off and disappeared. I really don't know much about sharks, but it was interesting for sure.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Pacifica State Beach  —   On July 15, 2010 Westley White reported the following; “I was out this morning at around 6:00 AM closer to the South end of Pacifica about 30 – 40 yards from shore. The break was shallow and small. I was paddling out some more to get in better position when 300 – 400 yards away I saw a breach occur to the South end of Pacifica. The shark came out, twisted and landed on its side. I did not see if it was grabbing a seal. I saw the white belly, tail and the twist it made as it came crashing back down. It all happened so quickly. I immediately turned around and paddled to the shore. I got to the shore pretty fast and looked back out in that direction but did not see a resurface. I did see closer to the middle-North end 2 or 3 dolphins. I watched some more but didn't see anything else. I was more in disbelief than anything.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On July 14, 2010 Sean McGuire and Brian Maser were surfing at Sunset Beach, Pacific Palisades. It was 10:30 AM and they had been on the water one hour. It was sunny and clear with air and water temperatures estimated at 75 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The sea was calm and the water 6 – 10 feet deep over a rocky ocean floor. No marine mammals were observed in the area. McGuire reported the following; “We were surfing for about an hour and saw some sea birds feeding offshore about 150 yards. My friend saw a huge splash in the water and we waved it off as being just the birds feeding. About 10 minutes later, 3 other surfers and I witnessed a 14 foot Great White Shark breach completely out of the water in the same spot the birds were feeding. I was well aware of shark activity at this spot and have seen Randy Wright's photos of similar sightings. We continued surfing for another hour and did not see any other shark activity.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On July 13, 2010 Jon Kohl reported the following; “I was Stand Up Paddle Boarding 50 yards off the beach at the Bel Air Bay Club where the cement drain enters the ocean at the clubs lifeguard station. Approximately 10 yards from me, between me and the beach, I saw a ‘shark' breach straight up then quickly down. It was 4 – 6 feet in length, brownish gray in color, with vertical white stripes almost ending in white ‘dots.' It happened very quickly. I talked to the lifeguard an hour later who said he saw the splash, but not the breach. Last year I had an encounter between Gladstone's Restaurant and the jetty in deeper water with a much larger ‘shark' with the same coloring. It just surfaced and rolled over.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Venice Beach  —   On July 10, 2010 Glen and Valmai MacIntyre were on vacation from their home in British Columbia, Canada. They were stay at a hotel near Washington Blvd. the Venice Pier, Venice Beach. It was about 10:30 PM with a clear, calm, night. MacIntyre reported the following; “We are visitors staying at Venice Beach and when walking on the beach, about 100 yards to the right of the Venice Pier we came across what appeared to be a carcass of a seal that had been chewed on by possibly a shark.  The head, was missing as was the back flippers, there was obvious blood and entrails, etc. I thought this should be reported.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.    

 

Big Sur  —   On July 10, 2010 Eugene Tsuji, his son Nathan, and an undetermined number of companions, were Kayak fishing at Big Sur, which is located between Carmel and Lucia. Tsuji reported the following; “I'm not sure who saw it first but I was about 50 feet away from Nathan when I saw a big dorsal fin tailing his yak. The dorsal fin was as tall as he was sitting in the yak, 3 – 4 feet. It was following Nathan for sure. It sped up when he did and slowed when he did and turned when he did. The wake at the base of the dorsal showed real power acceleration. Nathan had a death fear adrenalin rush and I, as a father, had the most bizarre feeling I have ever had.  It's like everything shut down except the task at hand.  It wasn't slow motion but that 20 – 30 seconds felt like 10 minutes. Nathan stopped paddling; I called for him to not move and stay calm. The fin was about 5 feet away from his yak when it submerged. The next 10 minutes was spent not moving. Then we started fishing again I noted the distance from the dorsal fin to the yak when Nathan said he could see a pointed snout and a two tone color scheme, with the bottom portion being white, top grayish brown. When we returned home and measured the span at about 12 feet, from the head to the dorsal. That makes the shark around 20 – 24 feet.“The fin appears to be that of a Basking Shark, Cetorhinus maximus. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On July 10, 2010 Mark Lanphere and a companion were Stand Up Paddle Boarding at Dog Patch, San Onofre State Beach. It was 8:00 AM and they had been on the water about 30 minutes. The sky was overcast with air and water temperatures estimated in the high 60s Fahrenheit. The sea was calm with medium surf of 1 – 3 feet. The water was about 5 feet deep with a rocky-reef bottom and at least comparable visibility. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Lanphere reported; “This day I had three separate sightings. The first sighting was approximately 150 feet in front of me and my friend who were Stand Up Paddling at the North end of Dog Patch at San Onofre State Beach. The dorsal fin and tail of the shark were clearly visible and unmistakable. On the surface the shark moved about at a casual pace for about 10 seconds then returned to the depths. The second sighting occurred about 30 minutes later, in about the same location, a full breach occurred. The shark was between 6 and 10 feet in length and fully cleared the ocean surface by at least two feet. The third and final sighting occurred maybe 15 minutes later, while surfing inside and sharing a small peak with a wave skier, the wave skier called out to me as he was paddling back out that a shark was immediately to my left and heading towards me. As I looked left, the dorsal fin and tail were visible above the surface of the water and I could see the shark's outline below the surface. It continued in my direction passing just under the nose of my Stand Up Paddle Board heading North into the surfing area know as Old Man's. The shark was moving at a relaxed pace. I was not. That was about all I could handle from nature in one day so I caught a wave and went in.“ Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On July 5, 2010 Ron Thompson was Stand Up Paddle surfing South of Dog Patch at San Onofre State Beach. It was 1:30 PM and he had been on the water 20 minutes. The sky was overcast and there was a slight bump to the sea surface with a large swell. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 68 and 66 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The water depth was about 10 feet with similar visibility. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Thompson reported; “While Stand Up Paddle surfing South of Dog Patch, in front of the power plant. I witnessed a full body breach of a shark 6 – 8 feet in length and dark in color. As I was paddling back outside to catch another set wave the shark breeched up out of the water completely, at least 5 feet from the sea surface, did a horizontal twist and landed with a splash. This happened approximately 150 feet in front of me as I was looking outside and I was fortunate enough to witness the entire maneuver. It was unbelievable. I've heard and read about numerous shark encounters down in the San Onofre area and I can now say I'm a believer.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Monterey Bay  —   On July 4, 2010 Dustin Shaw and 3 unidentified companions were kayaking 200 yards off shore from the Monterey Plaza Hotel in Monterey Bay. It was 1:00 PM and they had been on/in the water for 2 hours. The sky was clear with an air temperature of 60 – 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea was calm with a recorded temperature of 52 degrees Fahrenheit and water depth of 60 feet with a sandy, rocky reef bottom. Water visibility was limited to about 5 feet. An undetermined number of marine mammals were observed in the area. Shaw reported; “After SCUBA diving for 45 minutes myself and 3 others decided to kayak from the breakwater to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and check out the otters. We did so and were casually making our way North to the Sea Lion rookery when we were approached by a yellow kayak with an outrigger heading South. This was an unusual boat and was passing closely so the three of us were looking when a 4 – 5 foot shark breached completely out of the water within 5 feet of the back of the kayak.  All of us have been diving California for at least 10 years (also with trips to Palau, Cocos, Galapagos, Socorro), and there was no mistaking that it was a shark. I immediately thought it might be a Mako Shark. The individual in the kayak did not see the shark but turned to check out the splash and we told him what we had seen. He just looked at us like we were crazy and paddled away. We joked about air jaws and continued to kayak for another 2 hours or so.“ Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Topanga State Beach  —   On July 2, 2010 Darcie Fitzpatrick was surfing at Topanga State Beach located where Topanga Canyon Road intersects Pacific Coast Highway, between the city of Malibu and Will Rogers State Beach. It was 6:30 PM and she had been on the water about 20 minutes. The sky was clear and air and water temperatures were estimated at 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The water was 8 – 10 feet deep over a mostly rocky ocean floor. Water visibility was minimal with 2 – 5 foot swells. Fish and Dolphins were observed swimming in the area. Fitzpatrick reported; “Due to the time of day visibility was minimal. I estimate the shark was swimming 2 – 3 feet below me and was approximately 7 feet in length, light gray in color, and moving quite slowly. When I first noticed it I thought it was kelp floating in the water but then saw the color. I remained still holding my feet out of the water. The shark swam off but was encountered a second time about 20 minutes later while I sat next to another surfer at same location. This surfer was on a 6 foot short board which had him somewhat submersed. He was frightened and began moving about but the shark again swam off. Moments after the second encounter another surfer mentioned seeing a large fish that was orange in color just near us.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On July 2, 2010 David Bull was Stand Up Paddle Boarding about 300 feet from shore at Dog Patch, San Onofre State Beach. It was 3:30 PM and he had been on the water 30 minutes. Air and water temperatures were in the mid-70s and low-60s Fahrenheit, respectively. It was partly cloudy from a marine layer with the sea glassy calm and 2 – 4 foot waves. Water visibility was about 10 feet with the depth equal to the visibility. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Bull reported; “I was paddling out back into the lineup at Dog Patch - though there were only half a dozen SUP's in the water at the time - when I felt a subtle bump on the back of my board. Initially I thought I just got caught in a kelp bed but my board turned clockwise 90 degrees and there wasn't any kelp around. I put my paddle in the water on the right side of my board to keep my balance and by that time my board was pointing back towards shore. When I looked down where my paddle was entering the water I saw the shark a few feet below the surface looking back at my board while swimming away. I got a good look at it because the sun was over my shoulder and the water was clean that day. I could tell that he had just hit my board because it seemed to be straightening itself out before it slowly swam away but it looked back towards my board so I got a good look at its head and it definitely looked like a white.  I had been hearing about the shark sightings for the last few years but didn't really think much about it since I had never seen it until I saw the triangular dorsal fin two weeks earlier at Dog Patch. It's clearly different from a dolphin's dorsal fin which we see all the time. But having it hit my board and getting a good look at it just a few feet away was a different story. The shark was approximately 8 feet long, grey on top and white on bottom. I don't think the shark was trying to attack me in any way when it hit. Nevertheless, I decided to call it a day and took the next wave in.” By definition, this constitutes an unprovoked shark attack, the second of the year. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee 

 

Pismo Beach  —   On July 2, 2010 Derek Crane, 19, was surfing near Silver Shoals at Shell Beach in Pismo Beach. He was bitten on the foot by a shark and received initial emergency treatment by the Pismo Beach Fire Department. An unidentified individual then drove him to a nearby hospital for additional treatment. The authorities determined this was a credible event and posted advisories. The shark was described as being about 4 feet in length, brown with white spots. Repeated attempts to locate this individual have been unsuccessful. If you know this subject, or someone that does, please ask that they get in touch with the Shark Research Committee. By definition this constitutes an unprovoked shark attack, the first known case for 2010. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Malibu Beach  —   On July 2, 2010 Joon Lee and an unidentified companion were kayaking North of Malibu between Escondido Beach and Paradise Cove Beach. It was 7:00 AM with an overcast sky and a mild breeze. The ocean was calm with visibility of 10 – 15 feet and an estimated temperature of 64 degrees Fahrenheit. Several pinnipeds were observed in the area. Lee reported; “I was paddling my kayak with my friend in front of me. I saw the shark's dorsal fin as it rose to the surface. It was dark, very triangular and pointy with a ragged looking back edge.  It surfac ed in between me and my friend and there was at least one seal pup within 15 – 20 feet of the fin. It slowly kept moving away from me travelling parallel to where the seals were seen. I only got a very close and clear shot of the fin. Once I got home I compared it with other similar fins and determined it was definitely a large Great W hite Shark. T he dorsal fin was very big and pronounced.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Santa Monica State Beach  —   On July 2, 2010 Sean McGuire was surfing Santa Monica Beach near Ocean Park. It was 7:30 AM and he had been on the water about one hour. It was sunny with little or no wind and an estimated water temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The ocean was calm, glassy, with the depth 10 – 15 feet over a sandy ocean bottom and an estimated water temperature of 64 degrees Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area. McGuire reported; “I was surfing in 2 – 3 foot clean, glassy waves with about 4 other friends when we saw a 4 foot Thresher Shark breach about 20 yards from us. Everyone in the water saw it and we all confirmed it was a Thresher Shark. We continued surfing and noticed a lot of bait fish swimming around. I am aware Threshers don't really pose a danger to humans so we did not exit the water.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Clemente  —   On June 30, 2010 Griffin Foy was surfing with companions Ben Seaberry and Dagan Stagg at Lower Trestles near San Clemente. It was 6:30 PM and they had been on the water one hour. There were scattered clouds and a mild breeze with an estimated air temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea was calm with an estimated water temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit and 1 – 3 foot swells. The ocean floor was mostly a rocky-reef with a depth of 6 – 8 feet and limited visibility. There were 8 – 10 Dolphin observed in the immediate area. Foy reported; “I was paddling back out to the lineup after riding a wave with my friends Ben and Dagan and about 15 other surfers in the lineup. I observed 8 – 10 Dolphins arriving in the area and swimming in various directions. Dagan and I both saw the top part of a dorsal fin more triangular in shape then the dolphin dorsal fins. This guy was cruising slowly without going up and down like the dolphins and 20 feet away going within a few feet of a couple of surfers heading south. A couple dolphins were circling the surfers between them and the shark. The shark disappeared. We continued surfing discussing what we saw.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Imperial Beach  —   On June 28, 2010 Liane Paulson, her son and nephew were walking along Imperial Beach about 1 mile North of the Mexican Border and the Tijuana River Estuary. It was 3:00 PM with an overcast sky. Paulson reported; “My son, nephew and I encountered a dead sea lion washed up on the shore. The sea lion's head had been mauled and its hind fin was missing. The sea lion had sustained many bites all over its body.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On June 27, 2010 Scott at SunsetSurf received the following report from Agam Singh; “Shark sighting: 7 – 8 foot White Shark fully breached about 200 yards off the point around 3:00 PM, Sunday, June 27th. At least 5 people saw it and kept surfing. I bailed!” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Santa Barbara  —   On June 26, 2010, a two-year-old California sea lion, Zalophus californianus c., was rescued on East Beach in Santa Barbara by the harbor patrol after it crawled aboard the boat “Afternoon Delight” following an apparent attack by a white shark. Peter Howorth, of the Santa Barbara Marine Mammal Center, provided the following information: “The very distinct teeth marks and diameter of the two bites sustained by the animal were indicative of a juvenile white shark. The injuries appeared to have been inflicted the same day or perhaps the night before it was rescued. The animal had to be euthanized. On June 28, a juvenile shark washed ashore near Rincon Point, about 11 miles east of Santa Barbara. It was tentatively identified as a white shark. Further research indicated that it was a juvenile salmon shark, Lamna ditropis.

On July 5, we picked up an adult female California sea lion at Rincon Point with severe wounds caused by an adult––not a juvenile––white shark. The injuries had been inflicted several days to perhaps as much as a week or more earlier. We had to put this animal down also because of the extent of the injuries. Off Santa Barbara Island, three attacks have been observed on sea lions by white sharks in the past few months, including one at the Landing Cove, a popular swimming and snorkeling area, and two more off Cat Canyon. These events caused Channel Islands National Park to issue a warning to ocean users to swim at their own risk.”
Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Bolsa Chica State Beach  —   On June 22, 2010 Marla Koch was supervising a group of 7 young adults that were swimming and body surfing near Lifeguard Station 22 at Bolsa Chica State Beach. It was 6 PM and they had been in the water 45 – 60 minutes. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the mid-70s Fahrenheit. The ocean was choppy with 1 – 2 foot surf and limited visibility. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Koch reported the following; “A friend and I were watching our teens, about 7 in all, swimming in the ocean. I looked past them a bit, and in a swell I saw a shark. It was about 30 feet from shore with the swimmers about 20 feet closer to the beach. I asked my friend to look, and she saw it right away also. The shark's movements were rhythmic, side to side, and also quick. We only saw the shark for about 5 seconds swimming toward the shore at a slight angle just under the surface. It was gray in color, almost shadowy.  It was in a small swell. We got the swimmers out as quickly as we could. We were the only ones in the water there. We let the lifeguard know about the sighting. The shark did not swim like a dolphin, I have seen many before, and it moved quickly, side to side. We saw it for only a few seconds, and then it was gone.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On June 14, 2010 Ryan Leonardo was surfing San Onofre State Beach at Old Man's. It was 2:30 PM and he had been on the water about 2 hours. It was partly cloudy with an estimated air temperature in the low 80s Fahrenheit. The surf was 2 – 4 feet with an estimated water temperature in the mid-60s Fahrenheit. The water was 6 – 12 feet deep over a rocky bottom with 3 – 5 feet of visibility. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Leonardo reported; “I was in the surfing lineup on my longboard at San Onofre State Beach in front of Old Man's about 250 yards offshore at the far break. While waiting for the sets I, and the surfer to the left of me, observed a White Shark, approximately 7 – 8 feet in length, breach the water about 50 yards further out past the break. We continued surfing till another surfer, about 40 feet to the left of us, claimed he saw the shark approximately the same size 30 minutes later pass him about 3 feet away and we decided it was time to come in closer to shore for the beach breaks and call it a day.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Ft. Stevens, OR  —   On June 12, 2010 George Ward was Kiteboarding at Ft. Stevens, Oregon near the mouth of the Columbia River. It was 3:30 PM and he had been Kiteboarding for about one hour. The sky was clear, sunny, with the wind North by Northwest at 15 – 20 mph. Air temperature was estimated at 70 degrees Fahrenheit with an ocean swell of 3 feet. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Ward reported; “While Kiting on a down-winder from Lot B to the shipwreck at Ft. Stevens I saw a Great White Shark, 6 – 8 feet in length, half out of the water. I had a clear view of the dorsal fin and tail fin. It was black on the top half and white on the bottom with a pronounced tail shape, not a dolphin. It was eating something with splashing near the mouth of the shark. After I saw the shark I stayed close to shore and did not see the shark again. I was on a Kiteboard with a white bottom and flying a blue kite.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Huntington Beach  —   On June 11, 2010 Victoria Aceves reported the following: “We were out on the beach this evening around sunset, maybe 45 minutes before, South of the pier in Huntington Beach off Beach Avenue. I noticed something in the water, and told my boyfriend and friend that there was something there. He didn't believe me until we both saw the fin belonging to this huge animal under the water. We could only see the fin briefly through the waves, but it was nothing like a dolphin. It did not jump out or rise as it swam. It was swaying and the fin was black and straight, and not that far from the shore at all, maybe 200 yards. We immediately thought we should alert someone. The lifeguards laughed at us. Others near us saw it as well, but there wasn't anyone deep in the water nearby. It was swimming North, and definitely uncomfortably close.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On June 3, 2010 Scott at SunsetSurf.com received the following report from Heather Konkoli; “I was surfing at Sunset Beach in front of the port-o-potties, just North of the wooden staircase, at around 11:30 AM.  Tide was filling in from a 9 AM low, water surface was still pretty glassy and waves were about 2 feet and clean, although pretty weak overall.  I saw a White Shark breach.  I estimate the shark to be approximately 8 feet long and 1.5 to 2 feet wide. About 2/3 of his body came out of the water, slightly twisted and he splashed back down at an odd angle.  He was probably only about 20 yards from me and the other surfers, so I paddled in immediately.  I know other surfers witnessed it as there was some chatter and gasps in the water, although I'm not sure they really understood what it was because they all kept surfing! (The waves weren't THAT good) I continued to watch for the shark from the bluff with my binoculars, but did not see it surface again.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  — On June 2, 2010 Randy Wright provided the following two reports of shark breachings from Sunset Beach. The photographs were obtained from his video tapes.  

On May 25, 2010 Randy Wright was observing, photographing, and videotaping marine life at Sunset Beach.
It was 7:54 AM and the sky was clear with an estimated temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea was glassy with inconsistent 1 – 3 foot surf. From prior experience the area of the sighting has a rocky reef bottom and is 15 – 20 feet deep. Water temperature was estimated at 58 degrees Fahrenheit. Two Dolphins were observed in the area 30 minutes prior to the shark observation.

Photographs Removed At The

Request of Randy Wright

Wright reported the following; “While doing Marine Life observation, I witnessed, photographed and videotaped a Great White Shark, approximately 8 feet in length, breach, coming nearly vertical in its trajectory. The animal was approx 6 feet out of the water, from its tail to the water surface, and landed on its belly, thrusting its tail as it breached. The distance from shore is about 300 yards, in relation to my memory of a buoy that was previously offshore. The location was at a previously seen area of shark breaching, near the cliff entrance to the surf at Sunset. There were 6 – 8 surfers in the water at the time of the breach. Eyewitness Nick Bowden saw the breach from the water, and Greg Kilgore observed it from the cliff overlooking the surf." Second Breach – "At 8:09 AM a second breach occurred in the same location, which I also successfully videotaped. This breach was an arching, horizontal type, more similar to a dolphin breach, but it is a shark, possibly the same one. This breach was also witnessed by Tony Sommo from the water and Dr. Larry Shaw on the cliff overlooking the surf. Afterwards, all surfers exited the water. Nick Bowden then decided to paddle back out and surf for another 30 minutes, without incident. My camera equipment consisted of multiple Canon DSLR's and Canon Vixia video cameras.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

On May 28, 2010 Randy Wright was observing and photographing marine activities at Sunset Beach. It was about 7:30 AM under a sunny sky with an estimated air temperature in the low 60s Fahrenheit. The surf was small and inconsistent with an estimated temperature, also, in the low 60s Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Wright reported; “While videotaping a Stand Up Paddle boarder who was watching the horizon for his next wave to ride and a water skier being towed behind a speedboat, the largest shark I have ever seen or photographed casually breached 2/3rds out of the water. The shark appeared to be 8 – 10 feet in length and was about 100 yards offshore at Sunset Beach. I did not witness this event, but the Canon Vixia camcorders I was using did. It occurred while I was reaching for my camera bag. A surfer named John confirmed witnessing the shark breach. After examining my video footage, I realized I had captured another breach at Sunset Beach.“ Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On May 31, 2010 Chuck Stone and his son, Scott, were surfing San Onofre State Beach between Dog Patch and Old Man's. It was 5:30 PM and they had been on the water about 30 minutes. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 65 and 62 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The sky was overcast with a 2 – 4 foot swell and a slight chop. The water was 6 – 10 feet deep over a cobblestone/rock bottom. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Stone reported; “My son and I had been surfing the middle to outer break for maybe 30 minutes between Dog Patch and Old Man`s about 100 – 150 yards from shore. There were three surfers to my left (South) and quite a few to my right surfing the main break. I was paddling back out when I saw a shark, 8 – 10 feet in length, vertically breach the water about 50 yards further out. My view was of the belly - very broad from the head down 2/3rds to a tapered tail section. The body was all white with broad triangular pectoral fins. The shark came back straight down and disappeared. I heard the other three surfers to my left yell and looked for my son who was 10 yards in shore of me. I told him that was a shark. I have seen enough Dolphin in the area to know the difference. We then proceeded to paddle back in. By the time we reached the shore the other three surfers to the south had come back in as well. On our way out we stopped at the beach entrance station and mentioned our sighting to the State Parks employee. He commented that one of the other three surfers had reported the sighting. His only question was if the shark was inside the break when we spotted it.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On May 31, 2010 Bill Sammons and Mike Darr were surfing near Trail 6 at San Onofre State Beach. It was 10:00 AM and they had been on the water about one hour. There were 1 – 2 foot wind swells over a sandy ocean bottom 10 – 20 feet deep. Water visibility was 3 – 10 feet with a water temperature in the mid-50s Fahrenheit. The sky was clear with a mild breeze. A small amount of suspended kelp was observed in the water. No marine mammals were observed during the session. Sammons reported; “ Mike and I were sitting on our surfboards waiting for waves. We were about 300 feet off shore and the shark was 75 yards away from us. The shark was on the outside of our location, out to sea. Basically the shark was West of me, when I first saw it and it was moving South. Mike saw the shark after I pointed it out to him and then the other surfers eventually saw the shark as well. The shark appeared to be 12 – 15 feet in length, grey or dark grey in color, with a dorsal fin 2 – 2.5 feet high. After I saw the shark I kept surfing for about another 45 minutes.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Seacliff State Beach  —   On May 30, 2010 Jessica Perri reported the following; “My family and I were hanging out at Seacliff State Beach, or as the locals refer to it Aptos Beach, from 4:00 – 6:30 PM. It is located about 5 miles South of Santa Cruz. We were about 1 mile South of the Cement Boat. I spotted a slow moving dorsal fin emerge from the water. It was slowly circling about a 30 foot circle moving very slowly and only emerging intermittently for about 20 minutes. Unfortunately, no other parts of the animal were visible. It was cruising around about 15 – 20 feet from the shoreline. Ironically, my children had been playing in that exact same spot about 15 minutes before I spotted the fin. My husband was at the shoreline scouting shells when I came running down yelling ‘look- look.' I have lived in Santa Cruz my whole life and I'm familiar with the sea life and this was clearly not a whale, dolphin, otter or seal. It was a very predominant dorsal fin that protruded out of the water at about 6 inches to one foot when cresting a wave. I would suspect it was cruising the kelp beds that have been right off the breaks for the last several days.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On May 29, 2010 Daniel Sandoval was surfing Trail 1 at San Onofre State Beach. The time was not noted but estimated at 3 – 4:30 PM. He had been on the water about 45 minutes prior to the encounter. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the mid-70s and low 60s Fahrenheit, respectively. Sea conditions were 2 – 3 foot waves, occasional sets, under a clear sky. Sandoval reported; “I paddle out and after a few minutes a surfer on a yellow longboard told me he had seen a shark swimming North and South about 15 minutes beforehand. I was somewhat apprehensive, but he said he'd watch out for me and let me know if he saw it again. After 30 minutes or so about 10 – 15 feet North of me was what I believed to be a shark. As soon as I saw it a paddle boarder told me there was a shark near. It scared me so I laid quietly on my board while the paddle boarder headed for shore. He had told me the shark was about 20 feet behind me. After a few more minutes I headed for shore. I waited on shore for about an hour or so and figured the shark was gone. I headed back out. Not long after I was in the lineup a surfer tells me there's a 6 – 7 foot sharks nearby as he takes a wave in to the beach. By this time the waves were somewhat flat so I paddled in to shore.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On May 29, 2010 David Moroni was surfing Trail 1 at San Onofre State Beach near San Diego. It was about 2:00 or 2:30 PM and he had been on the water about 30 minutes. The sky was clear with a mild West wind of about 5 knots. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 75 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The water was 8 – 10 feet deep over a rocky-reef with scattered sandy areas and visibility limited to about 3 feet. Sea conditions were 2 – 3 feet with a light chop. Surfers in the area observed 2 Dolphins about two hours prior to the encounter. Moroni reported; “I was sitting still on my longboard, although there were other surfers nearby. Another surfer to my left (unnamed) first spotted the shark, and then I noticed it about 50 feet to my left slowly swimming out and away from shore. This was around 2 PM. I spotted the dorsal and tail fin simultaneously coming out of the water for a few seconds. About 1 minute later, a surfer on a yellow longboard was paddling parallel to shore, heading West in front of my location. The same shark was seen following about 50 feet behind the unnamed longboard surfer just seconds later. I notified the surfer of the situation and he acknowledged and continued to paddle in the same direction. About 10 seconds later the shark turned left and swam back out and away from shore. About 20 minutes later the shark returned, first noted swimming parallel to shore about 50 feet in front of me again with other surfers nearby and the shark was between me and another surfer who was sitting further out. The shark disappeared for about 20 – 30 seconds and then reappeared as a set-wave was coming in, and the shark was seen ‘riding' the wave in to shore, and then disappeared again as the wave broke and there was whitewater masking the location of the shark. I stayed in the water, caught a few more waves and paddled in to shore about 15 minutes after the last encounter. The shark had a dark grey colored top with a curved, slightly triangular dorsal fin. Distance from tail to dorsal tip appeared to be 4 feet. Another surfer identified the full body through an incoming wave and noticed a whitish color at the bottom of the shark.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Torrance Beach  —   On May 29, 2010 Andrew Clayton was boogie boarding at Torrance Beach, which is between Redondo Beach and Malaga Cove. It was 10:30 AM and he had been on the water about 2 hours. The air and water temperatures were recorded at 73 and 58 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. Water depth was unknown due to poor water visibility of 3 feet or less. No marine mammals were observed in the area during his time on the water. Clayton recalled; “I was paddling out after catching a wave and I dove under a wave and when I came up I saw the top of the shark's head, dorsal fin and, its tail. It thrashed its tail and went back under the water I immediately got out of the water. The shark was about 7 or 8 feet in length and had a large dorsal fin and a long tail, possible a Thresher Shark (Alopias vulpinus).” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Hawaii  —   May 28, 2010. Hawaii First to Ban Shark Fins. Today, Hawaii became the first state in the nation to ban shark fins. Gov. Linda Lingle signed a bill prohibiting the possession, sale, trade or distribution of shark fins, which are used in pricey Chinese dishes. Exceptions will be made for researchers who have obtained a permit from the State Department of Land and Natural Resources. Lawmakers hope the new law will help prevent overfishing and extinction of sharks harvested for their fins. The bill passed the state Legislature earlier this year with broad support. The Law will take effect on July 1, 2010 and calls for fines ranging from $15,000 – $50,000 , in addition to the seizure and forfeiture of shark fins, marine licenses, vessels, capture equipment, and/or other property used in the commission of the crime as well as a year in jail for a third violation.

 

Bolinas Beach  —   On May 25, 2010 Mike Baehr was surfing 30 – 40 feet from shore in the channel at Bolinas Beach, which is located 10 miles West-Southwest of San Rafael and 20 miles North of San Francisco. It was 11:30 AM and he had returned to the water, following a one hour session and a 20 – 30 minute rest period while waxing his board. The sky was overcast and there was a light rain. Baehr reported;“I was surfing in front of the channel, along with two other surfers.  One was on the East Channel side of the ‘groin' (jetty) with the other surfer and I on the West side. The surfer on the channel side yelled ‘Shark!' and we all paddled in. Right about at the outer bar and perhaps 50 feet East of the ‘groin,' and 60 feet from shore, was what appeared to be a young seal struggling mightily. Both of the other surfers observed, more than once, a dorsal fin about 2 feet high. I did not see the shark and only witnessed the seal fighting for its life. It was thrashed around quite a bit and eventually disappeared. There was a flock of birds hovering closely over the battle scene the whole time. They left once it was over. We did not see the shark again after that, though another seal did find its way out of the channel and head West. I had been surfing that spot only about 30 minutes earlier and am feeling pretty lucky.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

La Jolla Shores  —   On May 13, 2010 Mary M. Baker was surfing at La Jolla Shores near San Diego. It was about 1:15 PM and she had been on the water about 1.5 hours. She recorded air and water temperatures of 72 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. There were 3 – 4 foot swells with a light wind chop. The water was about 15 or 20 feet deep over a sandy ocean floor, with limited visibility. Two pinnipeds and one Dolphin were observed in the area 30 minutes prior to the encounter. Baker recalled; “I was mostly waiting way outside of the surf line up. There was a large surf and poor form moving peaks so I was waiting for a clean shoulder. There were lots of us just waiting. I did move about 20 feet North right before the sighting. I looked outside and about 100 feet from me I saw the large triangle black fin, about 18 inches high, heading my way. I moved South and inside to get my friend out. I surf everyday and know the difference between marine animals. This was a large triangle fin heading straight at me. Not a dolphin, seal or a bird. It was a black large triangle fin.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On May 10, 2010 Scott Tarbutton was surfing at Trail 1, San Onofre State Beach. It was 10:30 AM and he had been on the water 30 minutes. The sky was overcast with air and water temperatures estimated at 65 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The ocean was calm with 2 – 4 foot waves and limited water visibility. The water was about 10 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom with some scattered rock formations. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Tarbutton reported; “I observed the shark swim up towards me and then down and away as it passed within a foot of my board. It was approximately 8 feet in length with a triangular dorsal fin 1 foot high. The skin color was dark gray. Thirty seconds prior to this two other surfers observed something large swimming in their area, approximately 150 feet away. About a half hour later it came back and was just sort of hovering about 20 feet away and stayed there for about 25 seconds. That's when I decided to paddle in.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Ocean Beach  —   On May 9, 2010 Brian Monroe was surfing Ocean Beach, San Francisco. It was about 5 PM under a breezy, partly cloudy sky. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 60 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. Monroe reported the following; “I was surfing in about 1 – 3 surf in choppy conditions about 50 – 60 yards from shore. It was low tide. I saw this event start about 50 – 75 yards away laterally down the beach to the North of my location. I saw a large dark grey dorsal fin, 18 – 24 inches high, and splashing directly next to a Grey Whale ( Eschrichtius robustus) that had its back elevated out of the water. I quickly paddled to shore and observed what appeared to be two whales, one large and one small, being repeatedly pursued by a large dark grey dorsal fin traveling along the surface. The shark appeared to be acting in an aggressive manner. About 5 – 7 minutes after the initial sighting I observed a pod of 3 Dolphins in the immediate area with smaller 6 – 10 inch dorsal fins. After about 10 minutes I no longer observed the large dorsal fin but continued to see the whale(s) moving along the coast Northern direction, blowing air out their blow holes. Whether this was an attack on the whale calf or there was a school of fish that they were all going after I don't know but this was witnessed by multiple people in the area.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On May 8, 2010 Ryan Wilkinson was Stand Up Paddleboarding at Dog Patch, San Onofre State Beach. The ocean was glassy calm with the depth 10 – 15 feet and visibility about 8 feet. The air and water temperatures were estimated at 75 and 62 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. It was 3:00 PM and he had been on the water about 1 hour. Wilkinson recalled; “I saw about an 8 foot Great White in the channel between Dog Patch and the Nuclear Power plant. I have heard of several sightings but was skeptical until I saw it with my own eyes. Several people in the water saw the shark as there was a SUP contest going on. The sighting occurred just South of the ‘contest zone,' where I spotted the shark several times. The first time, I heard people in the water talking about it and saw the shark about 10 feet away from me swimming away so I tried to stroke towards it to get a better look but it disappeared. The next time I was paddling toward a wave coming but noticed a couple of guys on it so I turned to go over it and the shark was close to the surface, dorsal fin barely out of the water, and 3 feet to my left and dove directly under my board below my feet. It must have been less than a foot or so below my board and then swam off. It definitely had some girth to it but I don't think that it was bigger than my 9'8" board that I was on. Many people saw the shark but no one got out of the water and the shark seemed to not be afraid of the 15 to 20 people in the water. It looked very relaxed and was swimming in a slow, powerful motion.” Please report and shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Linda Mar Beach  —   On May 8, 2010 Brian Moss reported the following; “At roughly 11:30 AM I was walking my dog on the North end of Linda Mar Beach in Pacifica. Due to the outgoing tide and nearly flat surface conditions I was able to get out on the rocks that stretch down from the headland. Shortly after entering the area I encountered a dead Sea Lion. It was decapitated and also had a large bite taken out of its abdomen. The corpse didn't have a strong odor which made me think it had washed up recently. Ultimately, due to the wounds, I'd speculate a large shark killed it.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Linda Mar Beach  —   On May 8, 2010 Miranda Hudson reported the following; “ I observed a dead seal today. It was about 20 feet from shore on the North end of Linda Mar Beach in Pacifica, CA. It was about 11:00 AM with an air temperature of about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The water was calm with little wind.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On May 7, 2010 Mike Foreman was Stand Up Paddleboarding at Dog Patch, San Onofre State Beach. It was 12:30 PM and he had been on the water 15 minutes. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 65 – 70 and 60 – 62 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. There was a mild breeze and the sea was calm and glassy with the water depth about 10 feet and 3 – 5 feet of visibility. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Foreman reported; “I was paddling out, about 2/3 of the distance to the outside line-up when I noticed a dark shadow on my right side. I first thought that this was nothing more than a large clump of submerged kelp but I noticed after a few moments that the shadow was moving with me, matching my paddle speed. That is when I took a closer look and noticed that the object was a White Shark, about 10 feet from me at a depth of about 2 feet below the water surface. I then made a slight correction in my heading to the outside line-up and noted that the shark made the same correction, staying the same distance from me. There were two other surfers in my vicinity who I immediately notified that there was a White Shark in the area. Their response was pretty nonchalant and commented that shark's in this area is pretty commonplace. I stayed in the water and enjoyed some pretty good waves, the shark went on his way and I never saw it again. The two other surfers stayed as well in fact, one of them commented to me ‘where did your buddy go'? The other surfer came over a little later and asked if I was alright and I said no problem as I felt that the whole experience was very special.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Balboa Pier  —   On April 27, 2010 Dena Files reported the following; “ I live in Balboa and frequently walk the beach and pier and wanted to submit a report about two deceased mammals that may have fallen victim to a shark. It was 8:00PM the night of Saturday, April 17, 2010, when I observed this dead seal that had washed up on the beach in front of the fire pits just North of the Balboa Pier, which is one of two piers located in the city of Newport Beach. Additionally, on Friday night, April 16, 2010, while on the pier I do remember a seal that briefly pop it's head out of the water a couple of times and it was directly under the pier in between the pillars. It seemed it stayed within that area during the time I was there. Its actions seemed odd to me at the time. Then April 27, 2010, I observed a dead dolphin. It was almost in the exact same location from where the seal was located, instead of the fire pits it was just out from the parking lot.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.  

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On April 26, 2010 Eric Lizerbaum was Stand-Up-Paddle Boarding at Dog Patch, San Onofre State Beach. It was 10:00 AM and he had been on the water 2 hours. The sky was overcast and grey with an estimated air temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The water was 10 – 15 feet deep, with 5 feet of visibility, an estimated temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and a ‘silty' ocean floor. The surf was running about 3 feet. Lizerbaum reported; “I was paddling south towards the Nuclear Power plant in San Onofre to catch a left rolling in. I was stroking quickly with the paddle, and made the turn towards shore to catch the left hand wave, and right before catching the wave a large 9 foot Great White swam very slowly under my board with only about a foot between the shark and my board (my board was 8' 6" and the shark was definitely bigger than my board), the movements were very slow and steady and staying with my board as I caught the wave. If I would have fallen, I would have literally been riding the shark. I was surprised at how calm and slow the swimming pattern demonstrated by the shark, and not quick or sudden as I would have presumed. I kept surfing for one more wave further North closer to other surfers. I told people in the water, but no one left the surf and stated the sharks are seen here often, and perhaps it is a breeding ground, and that most of the Great Whites here are small.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On April 26, 2010 Ronald Chrislip was ‘Stand-Up Paddle Boarding' at San Onofre State Beach. It was 9:00 AM and he had been on the water about 1 hour. The sky was overcast and the ocean calm with 3 – 4 foot swells. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The water was 10 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom with scattered areas of small rocks and 5 feet of visibility. Small bait fish were present in the area but no marine mammals were observed. Chrislip reported; “I had cut my toe on rocks earlier in morning and wasn't aware of bleeding until I came out of the water. I was standing on my board about 100 yards from shore. As I was standing on my paddle board the shark swam under my board, very slowly, and stayed a few seconds in front of me. The shark was 8 – 9 feet in length and was clearly visible. I almost fell on top of him. I have 40 years experience surfing and fishing and believe the shark looked like a Great White juvenile. After sighting the shark I paddled in and that is when I noticed my toe was bleeding heavily. I talked to two others on the beach who had seen the same shark. One guy had fallen in impact zone and saw its tail right next to him.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Seacliff State Beach  —  On April 23, 2010 David Trumbull and Jeremiah Spears were ‘Boogie Boarding' at Seacliff State Beach located off Highway 1 in the town of Aptos, about 5 miles South of Santa Cruz. It was about 8:00 PM and they had been on the water about 2 hours. They were about 50 feet from shore in water 10 – 12 feet deep. There was a heavy shore break with chest high waves and a sandy ocean floor. About 4 Sea Lions (Zalophus californianus) had been observed earlier in their session but were not present during the encounter. Trumbull reported; “I paddled out using only my flippers to get outside the break. I stopped to look around to see where I should wait for the next set. I looked to my right, about 30 – 40 feet away, and thought I saw a Sea Lion sticking its head high out of the water to look around. It took about 3 seconds to realize that it was a very large dorsal fin, about 1.5 – 2 feet high, dark in color. As soon as I realized it was a shark, the dorsal fin turned towards me. I started paddling again using only my flippers making sure not to make a splash. The shark submerged a few seconds after turning towards me but was not seen again. Once on shore Jeremiah told me he had also seen the fin. The shark was moving slow, non aggressive.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

La Jolla Cove  —  On April 19, 2010 Ryan Timpson and Corey Testi were spearfishing 400 yards from shore off the rocks at Boomers Point, Northwest of La Jolla Cove. It was 7:45 AM and they had been in the water 45 minutes. The sky was overcast and he recorded air and water temperatures of 60 and 56 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The water was 35 feet deep with the ocean floor rock and sand and a few scattered kelp plants. Water visibility was 8 – 15 feet with a slight surge and an incoming tide. Sea Lions were sunbathing on the rocks and they passed several on the way out to their dive site. Prior to the encounter, 2 California Sheephead (Semicossyphus pulcher) had been speared and placed in their dive bag. Timpson reported; “My buddy and I had descended to the bottom approximately 75 yards Northwest of the preserve and immediately saw large fish and began to hunt. The water was very fishy from bait fish to calico bass and Sheephead. I had speared 2 good sized Sheephead and had put them into my bag. My dive buddy had just shot a large Sheephead when I saw movement to my right towards the direction of the preserve. Out of the gray a fast moving shark was coming as he got close he opened his mouth and went for the fish still shaking and hanging out of dive bag. I slapped the sharks head with my hand. I swam to Corey and pointed the sharks out to him. We were unable to bag the large fish on his spear because our attention was on the sharks. The smaller shark made 3 fast passes in a very aggressive manner. It came close enough to us that we were stressed and fended it off by slapping its nose down or kicking with fins. After we composed ourselves and regulated our breathing we signaled each other to end the dive and proceed back to our entry point. The sharks were Sevengill (Notorynchus cepedianus) , the larger was 8 – 9 feet in length and the smaller shark was 6 – 7 feet in length. As we swam away, the two sharks followed us, the little one coming at us very fast and the larger one circling and coming in closer and closer. We fended off their advances many times. Corey took a turn carrying the game bag while I swam backwards to fend them off. After a brief respite the large one came in faster and continued to advance towards Corey to where he was on his back kicking up at it. The shark did not seem to mind the close contact. I was worried for Corey and hit the shark with the blunt end of my spear. The shark was within 2 feet of Corey and directly over him. At this point Corey dropped the game bag, which the shark was interested in. As I decided to get the game bag the smaller shark came in extremely fast grabbing the game bag and shaking it several times. We stopped again to regroup and catch our breath. We signaled again it was time to go. We continued on our heading for approximately 75 yards without seeing another shark. We decided to surface. When we reached the surface we discussed continuing the dive but decided against it. We took a compass heading and once again went under water. Almost immediately the large shark was on us again bumping into myself and Corey and acting more than curious. He followed us bumping into us, coming in very close to the point we were not comfortable and hit him with our fins or hands to scare him away. The only time they charged us very fast, or opened their mouths, was when we were in possession of the bleeding fish. I have been in the water with Sevengill's before and have found them to be curious and gentle animals. The shark followed us back to Boomer Point and was mildly aggressive up until the point of us leaving the water. The larger shark appeared to have an injury to its side and never moved at the speed of the smaller shark. The larger shark was bigger than my dive buddy with fins, as I saw them next to each other.“ Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Palos Verdes  —  On April 17, 2010 Matthew Lawyer and his diving companion, Nathan , were spearfishing at Flat Rock, Palos Verdes. It was 8:00 AM and they had been in the water about 30 minutes. Lawyer was wearing a brown camo wetsuit, free diving fins, and carried a 55 inch speargun with 50 feet of line and a small kelp float attached. The sky was clear and the sea calm with a rising tide and long period swell, maybe 2 – 4 feet. Water and air temperatures were estimated at 58 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The water was 30 feet deep with 15 feet of visibility and the ocean floor was composed of large rocks with scattered sandy areas and some short statured kelp. There were 3 – 5 marine mammals observed on Flat Rock with at least one animal in the water. Lawyer reported; “My spearfishing buddy and I entered the water South of Flat Rock in Palos Verdes. We then swam out between Flat Rock and the shore towards the kelp beds. We were about 50 yards North of Flat Rock and 50 – 75 yards from shore. The visibility was 10 – 12 feet on the surface and in about 30 feet of water when I made my first dive the visibility opened up to about 15 feet on the bottom. I laid still on a big rock, looking out over a few sandy channels. On my ascent I noticed a few female California Sheephead (Semicossyphus pulcher) at the next big boulder over, and on my next dive went to where I had seen them. I lay still until one of the Sheephead came over to check me out, at which point I started swimming alongside her as she went from one big boulder to the next. When I reached the next rock I noticed a shark, grey in color, 7 – 9 feet in length with a 12 – 16 inch dorsal fin, swimming slowly along the sandy channel in front of me, about 20 feet away. When I saw the shark I stopped swimming, but still had some forward momentum, so I reached down and grabbed the top of the rock I was swimming next to. At this point, the shark was about 10 to 12 feet from me swimming along the bottom perpendicular to my position. It swam along very calmly and did not seem to even acknowledge my presence. After a few seconds, when it was out of sight, I ascended to alert my dive partner to its presence. We continued diving for another couple hours and didn't ever see it again.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Palos Verdes  —  On April 16, 2010 Josh Bottomley was spearfishing in Bluff Cove, which is located South of Flat Rock Point under soaring 300-foot cliffs, in Palos Verdes. Bottomley reported; “I had shot a couple California Halibut, (Paralichthys californicus), one a little over 23 inches and the other 28 inches. I had them on a stringer on my weight belt for a little over an hour when the incident began. It was extremely murky where I was in the cove. There was a lot of suspended silt and a little current in about 12 feet of water. The visibility towards the surface was only about a foot or two but opened up along the bottom in some areas. On one of my dives I was swimming along the bottom when I felt a tug on my stringer, then something bumped my leg. I knew that the bump was from something bigger than the halibut on my stringer. I thought maybe a seal. I turned around and saw the head of shark up into one of the halibut on my stringer. It was dark on top and had girth. I took my spear gun and pushed it away. It came back 4 or 5 times. Each time I put more force into it using the tip of my spear to push it away. I swam into clearer water so I could see it better. It seemed to want to come up underneath from behind me and appeared to know when I could see it. I got a little better look at it at this point but for the most part I just wanted to get away from it. It was about 7 feet in length, dark on top, had girth and a triangle shaped dorsal fin. I don't think I could've touched my finger tips if I wrapped my arms around it. The last time I pushed it away I gave it all the force I could with my spear tip. I was almost in by then and I didn't see it again. At this point is when I noticed it got most of one of my fish. About 15 inches from the tail up was gone from the smaller halibut. That one bite took about 15 inches of the fish. Clean bite! Guess everyone likes halibut. Better the fish than me.” Pleases report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

La Jolla  —   On April 10, 2010 Henry Yu was surfing off Black's Beach in La Jolla near San Diego. It was 11:20 AM and he had been on the water about 1.5 hours. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the upper 60s and 50s Fahrenheit, respectively. The sky was clear and the ocean calm with a noticeable breeze. The water was 10 – 15 feet deep with a sandy ocean floor. One marine mammal was observed in the area during the session. Yu reported; “I was surfing and paddling out to the line-up. The shark surfaced about 40 feet in front of me. The wave formed in front of me and the shark was calmly floating in the back side of the wave. I saw a shadow of the shark and it looked to be a good 6 – 7 feet in length. The shark looked ‘girthy' and the color was dark. The back and dorsal fin looked dark and the dorsal fin looked like a tall triangle. I quickly turned into shore and paddled toward a group of friends as I was kind of by myself. We discussed it and tried to convince ourselves it was a Dolphin (a big Dolphin). After realizing there was no Dolphin surfacing to breath we swam into shore.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On April 6, 2010 Eric Dinkel was surfing 100 – 150 yards from shore at San Onfre State Beach, between Trail 1 and Trail 2. It was 11:30 AM and he had been on the water about 1 hour. The sky was clear with a mild breeze and an estimated air temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The water was 8 – 10 feet deep over a sandy ocean floor with scattered rock formations and a swell of 2 – 4 feet. Water visibility was 3 – 4 feet with an estimated temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Dinkel reported;“I was sitting on my board waiting for a set and saw a dark shadow in a wave out ahead of me about 30 yards. I thought it was probably just kelp. I waited another couple minutes for a wave and turned to start paddling, and there it was right behind me nearly under me. It was a shark, grey in color, 8 – 10 feet in length, resembling a White Shark. It just swam calmly for another 10 feet by then I was paddling as hard as I could and saw it swimming parallel with me for maybe 30 feet until I finally caught a wave in. After the encounter I decided to paddle back out, but further North in front of Trail 1 where there were more surfers. I surfed there for 20 minutes or so and the guys I was surfing with had paddled in and were standing on the shore pointing out towards me and had seen the shark swimming in the waves. I didn't see it while I was surfing the second time, but got out and once on shore could see it swimming in the waves right where I had been surfing, about 40 yards off shore.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On March 29, 2010 Scott at SunsetSurf.com reported the following from Joanna; “There was a shark breaching at Sunset around 3:30 PM on Monday, the 29th. The shark was about 150 – 200 yards offshore and just slightly East of the point. It was during a negative low tide. The shark jumped completely out of the water and seemed to flip over in mid-air and then landed sideways back into the water.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Conservation Update  —   March 25, 2010 the U.N. wildlife meeting of CITES (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species) has rejected efforts to regulate the trade in overfished Porbeagle Sharks, reversing an earlier ruling at the conference and leaving none of the proposed shark species with protection. Asia nations managed to reopen the debate on the final day of the conference Thursday and voted to kill the proposal. The Porbeagle now joins several other shark species including Hammerheads that failed to get protection, dealing a setback to environmentalists who expected the meeting would produce several breakthroughs for the species that are killed to supply meat to Europe and the booming shark-fin trade in Asia. Three species of Hammerhead Sharks, family (Sphyrnidae) and Oceanic Whitetip Shark, (Carcharhinus longimanus), whose fins are the prime ingredient in shark fin soup were rejected by the conference attendees.

 

Palos Verdes  —   On March 17, 2010 Greg Lynn and a companion were sailing the ‘Kraken,' a 36 foot long Beneteau sailing sloop, with a dark blue hull and graphite black bottom paint. They were 600 – 700 yards from shore off Palos Verdes just South of the North-Western point on Santa Monica Bay. It was 1:00 PM under a sunny sky with 12 knot winds and an air temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The water was 200 feet deep and they were a half mile from a buoy covered in seals, although there were no visible marine mammals at their encounter location. Lynn reported the following;“We were slightly heeled, sailing with mainsail and spinnaker, folded prop on sail drive, at a speed of between 7.5 and 8 knots surfing a slight swell. We spotted a dorsal fin just to the windward side of the boat while sailing under spinnaker on a delivery from Marina Del Rey to San Diego for a regatta. We were using the autopilot so we had no feel of the interaction with the shark from the helm. The shark swam alongside the boat and while rubbing against the side of the boat then rolled onto its back. At this time its pectoral fin was fully out of the water and the tip of the fin was between our lifelines meaning that discounting the heeling of the boat (which would make the dimension even greater) the tip of the fin was at least 4' out of the water. After seeing the immense white belly of the shark for a few seconds it disappeared under the boat. We were watching for the dorsal fin off the stern but it never appeared. I looked straight down into the water off the transom and the dark shape of the shark was visible at approximately a 6 foot depth, swimming half under the stern of the boat. It stayed this way for a half a minute and disappeared from sight. Six (6) weeks later when the boat was hauled out for some work on the bottom and keel we noticed a series of scratches on both sides of the rudder approximately an inch apart. We repaired the scratches with no idea how or why they were there only later to remember the interaction with the shark. Regrettably we did not photograph the rudder. It is a 5 foot long blade and the scratches were all over it and were very cosmetic, not even through the bottom paint to the primer. Judging by the length of the shark relative to our 36 foot sailboat it was at least 16 feet long and probably more. The nose of the shark was near the chainplates and its tail was roughly aligned with the transom. The length from chainplates to transom on the boat is more than 19 feet; it almost filled this distance but again, we were moving as was the shark. It rolled against the boat and its girth was enormous, I would estimate at least 5 feet in diameter, maybe more. The most impressive thing about it was how wide around it was and how much whiteness was visible when it rolled over. It made our 36' long 10' wide boat feel very small.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Southern California  —   March 16, 2010 begins the annual spawning runs for the California Grunion, (Leuresthes tenuis), a member of the Silversides family of fishes. The spawns take place after high tides, over a period of 4 nights, commencing on the full and new moons of the month. During this 4 day spawning period, observations of small sharks close inshore are to be expected in the areas of the schooling fish. The appearance of juvenile White Sharks along Southern California beaches in March and April is not an uncommon event. The birthing of the sharks appears to coincide with the commencement of the annual spawning runs of the Grunion. For additional information on the life history of the California Grunion, please visit Karen Martin's web site at: www.grunion.org .

 

Laguna Beach  —   On March 15, 2010 Marc Stanton, and two dive companions, James and Christian, were 200 feet from shore off Laguna Beach near Dead Man's Reef. It was 1:55 PM and they had been in the water for 40 minutes. The water was 30 feet deep with 15 – 20 feet of visibility. Stanton reported the following; “Myself and two dive buddies were diving the area when we surfaced to take a break. After resting for about 5 minutes I noticed a fin sway from side to side then dive towards us about 50 feet away. Realizing that we looked like seals on the surface we quickly deflated and descended. Right when I touched bottom a shark swam right by me going very fast. The shark was about 5 feet in length, grey with a white belly. I'm pretty sure it realized we were human and ran away but none the less it bumped my heart rate up.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Malaga Cove, Palos Verdes  —  On March 6, 2010 Tony Noceti and his girlfriend, Yuree Jung, were walking along the beach in Malaga Cove, Palos Verdes. The sky was partly cloudy with a light 5 – 10 knot onshore breeze. It was 1:30 PM and no marine mammals were observed in the area. There were 5 – 6 surfers in the lineup with three fishing vessels, including the Body Glove boat, outside the cove. There were 2 divers North of the cove and 1 South. A single diver exited the water while they were on the beach.

Noceti reported the following; “I observed a
dead California Sea Lion, (Zalophus californianus)
, on the beach about 10 yards from the water. Its head and hind flippers had been severed and both of the front flippers had been removed as well. I did not observe any shark activity in the area.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Corona del Mar  —   On February 10, 2010 Dave Schulte was walking along the beach at Corona del Mar near the South entrance to Newport Harbor. Schulte reported the following; “It was about 12:00 PM and the sky was sunny following several days of rain. The shark was found dead by Brandon Ward on the sand at the waterline.” It is a juvenile (Young of the Year [YOY]) Salmon Shark, (Lamna ditropis). It is not uncommon to find these sharks stranded on beaches in Southern California this time of year. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On February 4, 2010 Brad Goldstein was surfing 50 yards South of the Gladstone's parking lot exit at Sunset Beach. It was 8:10 AM and he had been on the water about 70 minutes. The sky was overcast and the ocean choppy with 2 – 3 foot waves. No marine mammals were observed in the area. On several occasions small fish, maybe 2 – 3 inches in length, were observed breaking the surface of the water. Goldstein reported the following; “My friend Arthur, and I, were just below the Gladstone's parking lot exit. As I was about to paddle for a wave, a guy on a stand-up board yells, 'A huge shark just swam under me!' He was about 10 feet South of me. I caught the wave and rode it into knee deep water. My friend, Arthur, paddles in and we decide to move about 50 yards South. After a few waves each, maybe 10 minutes later, we are sitting on our boards, in pretty shallow water, maybe 4 – 5 feet deep, talking about how scared the stand-up boarder looked when suddenly a fin came up out of the water 2 – 3 feet from Arthur's right leg. We paddle in as fast as we could. I catch a wave on my stomach and rode it in. Arthur had to paddle all the way in by himself. We didn't go back out but there were still about 3 surfers (all women) that kept surfing.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Point Arena  —   On January 31, 2010 Andrew Duhl, and his wife, were fishing off of the Point Arena Pier in Point Arena, Mendocino County, California. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the mid-50's Fahrenheit. It was 11:00 AM and the sky was cloudy. There location on the pier placed them about 100 yards from the beach. There were 6 surfers observed on the South side of the pier. Over the past few days a female Gray Whale, (Eschrichtius robustus), and her calf have been entering and exiting the harbor with the tides. They come to within 300 yards of the pier. Duhl reported; “I observed a California Sea Lion, (Zalophus californianus), carcass floating near the pier when we arrived at about 11:00 AM. It was floating on the North side of the pier and eventually was carried out to sea with the outgoing tide later that afternoon. The animal was probably 5 – 6 feet in length and had a large bite, at least 18 inches in diameter, in the side.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Point Bonita  —   On January 28, 2010 Peter Barto reported the following; “I was helping with my daughter's middle school field trip out at Point Bonita in Marin County, in the GGNRA (Golden Gate National Recreation Area) headlands.  Out near the lighthouse, I was scanning the ocean with my binoculars. I spent some time watching a group of harbor porpoise as they appeared to be fishing a few hundred yards off the rocks.  After a while, a more ‘violent' surge in the water caught my eye. When I went to look through the binoculars, it seemed like I took in the following sight:  a large animal, two-tone (dark on top, white on bottom), coming out of the water with a surge, chasing something. This was about 11:30 AM. My first thought was ‘Great White Shark' but, never having seen one in the wild, I wasn't totally sure. I never was able to spot it again and after a time I noticed the Porpoise were still feeding in the area.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Will Rogers State Beach  —   On January 13, 2010 Scott at SunsetSurf.com received the following report from Jack Pitts; “I wanted to report two shark sightings in two days. A guy saw a shark breach on Monday (Jan 11, 2010) while I was in the line-up. He said it was about 200 yards out from the lifeguard stand area. When I asked if he had seen a bird, he responded 'I know the difference between a bird splash and a shark breach.'  This occurred with pink skies at sundown.  The waves were so good, no one left the line-up immediately, but there was maybe 4 other surfers out there with me as it got dark. Then yesterday (Jan 12, 2010), a British man reported the upper half of a triangular fin at less than 10 feet from his board. He said the fin did not have the curved shape of a dolphin, but the triangular shape of a shark. He was not familiar with the Great White breeding ground at Will Rogers, and thought the shark was not a Great White. The shark was described as smallish, about 5 feet.  This occurred last night at sun setting hour. I don't think anyone else but he saw it. Talked with him extensively, he wasn't lying.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

San Onofre State Beach  —   On January 10, 2010 Troy Johnson and two companions were surfing Trail #1 at San Onofre State Beach. It was 12:30 PM and they had been on the water 1.5 hours. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 70 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The sky was clear with a mild breeze and the sea glassy with 2 – 4 inconsistent sets. The water was 10 feet deep with similar visibility and a sandy bottom with scattered rocks. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Johnson reported; “I had just taken two long rights and decided to go in for a rest. After about 10 minutes I was walking back down the beach to get back to the location directly out from the reef where the waves were breaking the best and I saw one of my buddies riding in on his belly. He had gashed his hand and it was bleeding pretty badly. There was a first aid kit in the back pack so he decided to treat his wound before going back out, as the swell was starting to pick up. I left him and started paddling back out when my other buddy came flying in on his belly, white as a ghost, motioning me to get out of the water. He was clearly shook up and almost shaking from the adrenaline rush. I turned around and started going back in and tried to start talking to him but he couldn't say anything but "get out, get out." I listened and made the difficult walk out through the rocks at low tide. Once on shore he told us what had happened. He felt his leash was too tight and he started yanking on it to because he figured it was wound around one of his skags. It finally released but it felt like something had let it go. He looked over his shoulder to see what was up and that's when he saw a Great White Shark swimming next to him, about 2 feet away. It slowly made its way under his board and then flicked its tail quickly and shot out and around the front of his board doing a u-turn. Just as he saw the shark coming back his way he turned and started paddling into a breaking wave which he rode all the way to shore on his belly. He is a veteran 25+ year's surfer and lifetime fisherman who has caught hundreds of sharks over his lifetime. He knows what he saw and it was a Great White Shark, 6 – 8 feet in length and 2.5 feet at its widest point.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On January 3, 2010 Ron Burkhardt was surfing at Sunset Beach near the Gladstone's parking lot. It was 4:15 PM and he had been on the water 2 hours. The sky was clear and the sea calm, glassy, with 2 – 3 foot waves. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 75 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The water was about 20 feet deep with a sandy bottom mixed together with small reef and kelp formations. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Burkhardt reported ; “I was out at the point of Sunset and the majority of surfers were behind me and to my right. There was a diving or research boat anchored about 100 yards straight out from the steps. My viewpoint of the shark was North to South. The shark completely breached about 20 – 30 yards a stern of the boat, reaching maybe 2 – 3 feet in the air and completely exposed. It did a complete roll before entering the water. The shark was dark grey on top with a white belly and 7 – 8 feet long. For the next 20 minutes I looked for additional activity but saw none. Got the next wave in and continued to look for activity for another 30 minutes; saw nothing.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On January 1, 2010 Kathy Caverly was surfing at Sunset Beach. It was 4:30 PM and she had been on the water about 30 minutes. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 65 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The sky was clear and the ocean calm with 10 feet of water visibility and 1 – 3 foot waves. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Caverly recounted; “I was sitting on my board between the outhouse and the point. The tide was extremely low. I was looking straight out to sea. There were about 4 surfers in my vicinity and maybe another 10 – 15 nearer to the point. Suddenly a shark jumped out of the water and twisted its body in the air and made an arc. Its belly was facing me...clearly white. The shape was distinctly "sharky," obviously not a dolphin. It was pretty far out, maybe 75 yards. Because of the distance, it is hard to estimate the size, but perhaps about 8 feet. I exclaimed pretty loudly, and I heard someone else closer to the point at the same time...so I was not the only person to see it. It made for an awesome New Year's Day surf.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

 

Sunset Beach  —   On January 1, 2010 Stephen Gorum was surfing Sunset Beach off the South end of Gladstone's parking lot, 50 – 75 yards from the rocky point. It was 10:30 AM and he had been on the water about 1 hour. The sky was clear and the sea calm with 3 – 5 foot sets. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 60 and 56 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Gorum reported; “There were a few other surfers' further outside, but more inside of my location. I was maybe 30 yards South of the people furthest North. Maybe 30 people in the water. I was scanning for waves when the shark breached with its mouth agape directly outside of me, 20 – 30 yards away. The shark made u-turned and twisted in the air exposing its belly, which was white. After it entered the water I said out loud, ‘What was that?' A girl next to me said ‘It was a shark!' I knew, but just wanted a reaffirmation of what had just happened. I paddled inside into a group of surfers and pulled my feet up, not knowing what to do. Not many saw the shark, but I talked about it for the next half hour trying to calm myself. I didn't get out of the water until a few waves later, about another half hour. When I left the water I discussed the sighting with the girl who had seen the shark and replied to my question in the water. The shark was approximately 25 yards from me but I had nothing for scale to get a good size estimate. It looked large, definitely bigger than a dolphin and wider, a big fish. I probably should've left the water immediately, but I felt it could've gotten any of us at any time if it wanted, so I decided to stay awhile longer. I know it was a blessing to see such a magnificent creature. The apex predator of the world's oceans... Incredible!” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.


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