Surfers at 26th Ave in Santa Cruz were met at the sand by an 11-foot breached great white shark on Friday. The bloodied animal was spotted by beachgoers as early as yesterday evening, its death from what passerby said look to be boat propellor wounds.
Santa Cruz photographer Dave “Nelly” Nelson, who snapped the above photo and posted it to his Instagram account an hour ago, was tipped off by Gary Buthman — father of surfer and filmmaker Kyle Buthman — about the breaching:
Great white shark washed up at 26th Ave and it was pretty big and fat! Only an 11 footer. I’d hate to run into a 20 footer! OMG😳@seanvansomeren1 was on the scene documenting it for the Pelagic Research Team. Big thanks to @papa_buth for the heads up!🙏
Gary Buthman also took in another angle of the sight. One commenter noted how the shark’s dorsal fin, still attached last night, was now gone.
The incident comes one month after a “cooling-off period” issued by the city of Santa Cruz in which a kayaker attracted the curiosity of a great white near Steamer Lane, prompting a four-day water closure from the San Lorenzo rivermouth to Fair Avenue.
"This is a hot spot for sharks,” said deputy city manager Scott Collins during the ban in July. “Sharks are all up and down the Central Coast. But typically, they are not interested in humans. They don't exhibit this predatory behavior." The kayaker who was knocked off his vessel by the great white shark, local Steve Lawson, told reporters he could tell that the predator was not targeting him as a meal replacement. "I spent a little time in the water swimming around. I panicked. Everyone panics. There's a shark in the water. But he didn't come back. He wasn't interested in me,” said Lawson.
No attacks have been directly linked with the breached shark.
[Featured Image: Photo by Nelly]