Spring has sprung and so too have Southern California shark incidents. At least two separate shark encounters, one of them rather bizarre, have occurred in the last month according to internet website Shark Research Committee (SharkResearchCommittee.com). Both of the incidents involve Great White Sharks, and in one of the incidents the shark measured 15-feet long.
I was waiting for a set for about five minutes when I felt a jolt down on the tail of my board, immediately followed by violent bubble cascade, which sunk the board down about another eight inches
This incident took place at Huntington Beach on March 7, 2008, according to the Shark Research Committee website. It was on this date that Thomas Larkin was surfing near Huntington Cliffs and reported his shark encounter as follows:
“I was waiting for a set for about five minutes when I felt a jolt down on the tail of my board, immediately followed by violent bubble cascade, which sunk the board down about another eight inches. I didn't really get what was going on as quickly as I should have, but as soon as it begun it had ended and I was apparently alone again. A wave popped up, I paddled into it but pearled because of the water in the nose of my board, I quickly got back on and paddled into the whitewater of the next wave and boogie boarded it to the beach where I emptied the board through the apparent bite mark.”
According to the Shark Research Committee website, the diameter of the bite on Larkin’s board suggests it came from an adult Great White Shark in excess of 15 feet in length.
Two days prior to Larkin’s encounter in Huntington beach, on March 5, 2008, a bizarre scene unfolded in front of Kelly Lewis as she walked her dog near trail One at San Onofre State beach. According the Shark Research website, Lewis watched a 6-foot long male Great White thrashing about in the shore break, at one point completely dry docked on a sand bar and on its back. The shark had a bloody residue dripping from its body, according to Lewis' account on the Shark Research Committee website. Eventually the shark made its way back into the water and disappeared.
The good news is that Lewis took pictures of the event that you can view over at the Shark Research Committee website.
Great White Shark sightings at San Onofre are nothing new. A few summers ago, two Great Whites were spotted by State lifeguards and onlookers near Trail One. In fact, their appearance became such a regular occurrence that local workers planned their lunch breaks around the two sharks.
Whether or not we should be alarmed is up for debate. Northern Californian surfers deal with the Great White Shark reality on a daily basis. Now, it appears, we will have to do the same. Or somebody should call Chief Brody!