Pacific Coast Shark News 2013
The following reports for 2013 are provided as a public service. They are intended to inform our visitors of current shark activities along the Pacific Coast of North America. To review Pacific Coast Shark News for 2003 click here, for 2004 click here, for 2005 click here, for 2006 news click here, for 2007 click here, for 2008 click here, for 2009 news click here, for 2010 news click here, for 2011 news click here and for 2012 news click here.
Please Help This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Shark Research Committee's dedication to shark Conservation, Education, and Research. Our project to extract DNA from several minute tooth fragments recovered from a victim of a fatal white shark attack off California is short of the funding required. I extend my sincere appreciation to those of you that have made a contribution, however, we are still $400 short of our goal. I'm asking you to please consider making a small tax-deductible contribution this week to help us complete the funding required for this pioneering study. We want to match these fragments to the specific white shark that frequents the Pacific Coast. Please use the 'Support the SRC' link at the top of this page to make your donation to help in our effort to – “Save the Sharks – Save the Oceans.”
Manhattan Beach On December 1, 2013 Nat Spencer was surfing between 29th and 30th Streets in Manhattan Beach. It was 10:00 AM and he had been on the water about 3 hours. The ocean was glassy with chest high waves and an estimated water temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The sky was clear with an estimated air temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The water was about 8 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom with water visibility 15 feet or more. An undetermined number of dolphins were feeding on the plentiful baitfish in the area. Spencer reported;"I was sitting on my board on the outside waiting for a set when I noticed a Great White Shark under me. It was approximately 6 feet in length. It swam under my board and then sat next to me for a few seconds before swimming away slowly. The day before I saw a similar shark, also about 6 feet in length. Both were Great Whites. When the shark swam under me I pulled my legs out of water. Once it swam away I caught the next wave in." Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On November 30, 2013 Matt Eaton was surfing near 29 Street in Manhattan Beach. It was 8:20 AM and he had been on the water about 2 hours. The sky was clear and the ocean calm with air and water temperatures estimated in the mid-60s and upper-50s Fahrenheit, respectively. The water was 7 – 8 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom with water visibility greater than the depth. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Eaton recounted; "The Great White Shark swam right through the lineup from the North. Everyone saw the fin and paddled slowly out of its path including me, but it turned toward me and followed me and the guy surfing next to me into 3 – 4 ft of water. The shark was about 8 feet in length. It swam slowly and just seemed curious but I was taking no chances and paddled hard. I was told it was 3 – 4 feet behind the tail of my surfboard before I finally caught a wave to the sand." Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Hermosa Beach On November 30, 2013 Matt Skibiski and an unidentified companion were surfing off Hermosa Beach near Longfellow Avenue. It was 9:30 AM and he had been on the water about 1 hour. The sky was clear and the ocean calm and glassy with air and water temperatures estimated at 66 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The water was about 6 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom with water visibility greater than the depth. An undetermined number of dolphins were observed in the area prior to the encounter. Skibiski reported;"My friend and I were sitting on our boards waiting for a wave and I was telling a guy next to me that someone early mentioned to me that they saw a large shark swim under him. Just as I finished telling him the dorsal fin of undoubtedly a great white shark broke the surface about 20 feet further out from us. A swimmer and the shark where heading directly for each other, I yelled at the guy and he heard me, he saw the fin and body surfed in to shore. As the shark moved passed us casually, I warned the pack of surfers to the north of us and they then saw the fin heading in their direction. The shark appeared to be 7 – 8 feet in length. A few people got out of the water but most of us stayed in." Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On November 24,2013 John Andel reported the following; "My friend, Jason Meffe, and I went Stand Up Paddling near El Porto, just north of Manhattan Beach. Air was 64 and sunny. Water was 61 degrees Fahrenheit and visibility was 15 – 20 feet over a sandy bottom. When we first entered the water, we saw two dolphins about 50 yards off shore heading north. We paddled south and almost immediately saw a great white shark swim beneath us near the tip of the jetty. This shark was small, about 6 feet in length. We continued to paddle south and were just beyond the power plant when we saw another juvenile great white shark about 20 yards from shore in 6 – 10 feet of water. This shark was closer to 8 feet in length and was slowly swimming parallel to shore. We paddled up to it and easily identified it as a great white shark. Within about 30 seconds another white shark appeared and they started to swim in circles around us, appearing more curious than anything. They swam underneath our boards, between us, around us and then out to deeper water and back to shore. We paddled around them for about half an hour. There were about 30 people surfing 200 yards south of us." Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On November 24, 2013 Jay Dohner was Stand Up Paddling at El Porto in Manhattan Beach. It was about 12:00 PM and he had been on the water only 5 minutes. It was sunny and clear with an estimated air temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The ocean was calm and about 8 feet deep with similar visibility over a sandy bottom. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Dohner reported; "I was paddling along the shore about 40 yards out. There were multiple encounters with multiple sharks. The sharks were swimming calmly in large circular patterns. See http://youtu.be/H-XpTQFg13o ." Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Gleneden Beach, OR On November 22, 2013 Dave Morgan, of NewsLincolnCounty.com, reported the following: "A surfer was attacked by a Great White Shark off Gleneden Beach, Oregon located five miles south of Lincoln City. The Great White Shark bit the back of the board, leaving only shallow teeth marks. Loren Goddard of Dockside Charters in Depoe Bay first learned about the incident when the surfers came into his business saying they needed to fetch a loose surfboard. They told Goddard that one of them was sitting on his board waiting for a wave when something very large came up out of the deep and chomped on the back end of his board. The Great White Shark grabbed hold of it and tossed the surfer into the water. His partner said it was a very large shark and they quickly headed for the beach both on his board. After about 30 minutes of looking off Gleneden Beach they finally spotted the board about a mile and a half from where they were surfing earlier. The board looked none the worse for wear, save for a few teeth marks. The mouth size on the shark was around 12 inches according to Goddard." Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Eureka On November 21, 2013 Ron Warner (Retired), Research Biologist, California Department of Fish & Wildlife (formerly Game), and a very good friend, reported the following; "I had a call from a CDFW biologist yesterday who took a 50 second video of a very large white shark in the surf off Samoa Beach a few days ago (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtHIUkc_NYI). Samoa Beach is the beach north of the north jetty where many attacks have occurred. It is located 1.5 miles (2.4 km) northwest of Eureka, and is located in the northern peninsula of Humboldt Bay. It is amazing that the beast is so close to the shore. I would estimate about 20 feet at times. I don't plan to do much wading anymore." Note the size of the dogs in the foreground and the size of the dorsal fin. Also, note that at no time does the tip of the upper lobe of the caudal fin break the surface. About one-third of the upper dorsal fin can be exposed before the caudal fin is observed. This video would appear to answer the question I have been asked countless times over the past 50 years as to whether a very large white shark would venture into the surf zone. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On November 20, 2013 Adam Taylor was surfing in Manhattan Beach at El Porto near Tower 42. It was 10:00 AM and he had been on the water about one hour. The sky was clear and the ocean glassy calm over a sandy bottom that was 6 – 8 feet deep with water visibility greater than the depth. Prior to the encounter a pod of 6 or more dolphins were observed in the area. Taylor reported; "I was laying on my surfboard with all my limbs on top of the longboard facing slightly south towards the horizon. I noticed a dark shadow to my right in my peripheral vision and slowly glanced over to see what it was. I immediately identified it as a great white shark, 6 – 7 feet in length, as it was facing me in clear water and was really close, about 4 – 5 feet away. I instantly paddled to my left (south) and slightly further out as the shark was facing perpendicular to my body and was on a trajectory to pass under my board. I caught a small wave in right away and yelled to my friend that there was a shark and he caught the same wave. I grew up around sharks in Hawaii (hammerhead, tiger, reef sharks) and the body-language of this shark suggested to me that he was just checking me out or possibly hadn't seen me. The speed of the shark was slow which also led me to believe it was acting out of curiosity not aggression." Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On November 20, 2013 Christopher Clair was surfing El Porto in Manhattan Beach. It was 7:00 AM and he had been on the water 40 minutes. The sea was calm and the sky clear with air and water temperatures estimated in the mid-50s and mid-60s Fahrenheit, respectively. The ocean floor was sandy with water visibility greater than the 5 – 6 foot depth. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Clair reported;"There were approximately 25 other surfers in the line-up right out front the El Porto Parking lot. I was sitting on my board facing the ocean when I saw a pointed, triangular, blackish dorsal fin about 10 feet in front of me. It swam closer, and I could see a bulky shadow, about 4 – 6 feet in length under the water. It continued north zig-zagging through the line-up. I observed the shark about two or three minutes. No one seemed to notice except for a SUP rider. I paddled to him and we agreed it was a shark. I then paddled to shore." Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On November 16, 2013 Eli Keltner and his friend, Sean Kamano, were surfing El Porto in Manhattan Beach. It was 9:00 AM and they had been on the water 45 – 60 minutes. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the upper 60s and lower 60s Fahrenheit, respectively. They were 50 yards from shore in the line-up with a partly cloudy and a calm to light off-shore wind breeze. Keltner reported; "My friend, Sean Kamano, and I were surfing El Porto in Manhattan Beach north of 45th Street. The waves were shoulder to head high. After surfing 45 minutes to an hour, Sean, sitting on his board in the lineup, pointed and said, "Eli, there's a Great White Shark." It was a juvenile, 7 – 8 feet in length and was swimming near the bottom about 10 – 15 feet away. It remained still on the ocean floor for a brief moment and then began swimming in slow arcs. At the same moment, a group of dolphins were swimming north, 25 to 30 feet away, slowly swimming and breaching. One dolphin had caught a wave for a moment heading toward shore. We lost track of the shark and when we spotted it again it was almost directly below us. Then it turned, swimming out to sea. We continued surfing for another hour but never saw it again." Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On November 8, 2013 Jake Wadley with an unidentified companion were on the Manhattan Beach pier. It was 2:30 PM with air and water temperatures estimated in the 70s and 60s Fahrenheit, respectively. They were about 400 yards from shore. Wadley reported;“We were at the end of the Pier when two fishermen spotted two juvenile Great White Sharks. One of the sharks's appeared to be between 7 and 9 feet in length and was swimming approximately 8 to 10 feet below the surface. The second shark was 6 to 8 feet in length and was swimming at the same depth relatively near to the larger shark. Surfers were within 200 yards of the sharks at first but then the two sharks closed to within 150 yards of the surfers but appeared to pay no attention to them.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On November 7, 2013 Meelad Sadat was surfing at El Porto in Manhattan Beach. It was 11:00 AM and he had been on the water about 1.25 hours. It was sunny and clear with an estimated air temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The ocean was calm with the depth greater than 6 feet over a sandy ocean bottom with an estimated water temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Sadat reported;“I was sitting on my board watching an incoming set when I saw the dorsal fin and rear fin come out of the water about 2 – 3 feet from me, in the direction of open water. I would estimate the shark's length to be about 6 feet judging by dorsal fin to back fin being about 3 feet; dorsal fin looked about 6 – 8 inches high. I was sideways with my board nearly parallel to the beach and the fins came up out of the water to my right. I saw the shark make one quick swimming motion and saw its dorsal fin at the very back of my board before I could fully turn to paddle towards shore. I never saw its head or mouth. As soon as I began paddling and moving away I felt my leash tug for one quick moment. I turned to look behind me and noticed a surfer next to me, about 15 feet away. I yelled to him that there was a shark behind me and asked if my leash was caught on anything. He started paddling and I didn't hear his answer. I paddled until I caught some wash into shore.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Pismo Beach On November 3, 2013 Colleen Ryan reported the following;“While we were walking on Pismo Beach I observed several dolphin that were all swimming north. The seals in the area were aggressively jumping out of the water and a sea otter was just relaxing on the surface in the same area. It was 8:15 AM and the sky was partly cloudy. I looked out to sea and 50 – 60 yards from shore a Great White Shark, 10 – 12 feet in length, grey on top and white on the underside, was feeding on a seal. There were also several sea birds in the exact location we saw the shark feeding. We watched this for 2 – 3 minutes before the shark sounded.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On November 2, 2013 Kirk Aguer was surfing in front of the parking lot at El Porto in Manhattan Beach. It was about 12:00 PM and he had been on the water about 45 minutes. It was sunny with no wind and an estimated air temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The waves were high with the water visibility at least 15 feet and the depth about 10 feet over a sandy ocean bottom. Water temperature was estimated in the low 60s Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Aguer reported; “I was straight out from the parking lot at El Porto in Manhattan Beach. There were many surfers in the water. I was sitting on my board with 2 friends when I spotted what appeared to be 7 foot juvenile white shark slowly swim between my friend and I about 5 feet away. It was grayish tan, had a lighter color underbelly and small notches on the back of its dorsal fin. The dorsal fin broke the water and I warned my friends of the shark. We observed it swim off about 25 feet then it did a 180 and swam directly towards my other friend who had not heard my warning because he was wearing ear plugs. When he saw the fin he was startled and fell off his surfboard into the water directly in front of the shark. The commotion seemed to scare the shark. It immediately turned away and swam off. A nearby surfer swam in when we first spotted it. We didn't see it as a threat and stayed out another 30 minutes never seeing it again.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Soberanes Point On October 31, 2013 Sara Worden, a research biologist conducting intertidal surveys at Soberanes Point in Monterey County reported the following; “It was 1:30 PM with a sunny sky and a warm 20.12 Centigrade (68 Fahrenheit) recorded air temperature. While making my survey I observed an attack on what looked like an adult California sea lion, by what was likely a great white shark. I have been conducting intertidal research on the California coast for over a decade and was out at my intertidal site at Soberanes Point when I saw quite a bit of commotion about 200 yards from shore just out past the kelp bed. I could see the shark's caudal fin thrashing above the surface of the water. A flock of seagulls showed up quickly after the attack began. I did not have binoculars, but did see the dorsal fin and tip of the caudal fin, and what looked like its nose coming up out the water, and these features did look like a great white shark. After the initial attack, the shark left and returned about five or so minutes later and began feeding. Again, I could see the caudal fin trashing above the water. The shark would feed for a few minutes, stop and then come back and continue feeding. The sea lion looked like it was drifting northward, as the shark continued to come back and feed on it over a period of about 1.5 hours. By estimating the distance between the dorsal and caudal fins, the shark appeared to be 12 – 15 feet in length. About 30 minutes after the initial attack, I saw California sea lions (~4-5) porpoising just inside the kelp bed. There is also a large off-shore rock where sea lion haul out.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Santa Barbara On October 27, 2013 Peter Howorth, Santa Barbara Marine Mammal Center reported the following;“Rob Ruth, MD, sent two video clips to me of a white shark feeding on a fresh-dead yearling or juvenile California sea lion. There were two sharks clearly visible in the video. The smaller shark swam away as they approached in their boat, but they stayed with the larger shark about 25 minutes. The larger shark was estimated at 12 feet. One of the video shows a fairly small shark, judging from the size of a gull nearby. Both videos clearly show a white shark. This occurred about 1400hrs. They had been fishing in water from 250 – 325 feet deep and were east of Oil Platform Hondo, heading east along the coast, when they saw gulls congregated on the surface and investigated. This would put them about three miles almost due couth of Refugio. Due to the popularity of fishing from kayaks from Goleta to Gaviota due to the abundance of fish and some kayakers venture well offshore–a few miles in many cases–I would post this latest incident, especially since the fishermen will be trailing struggling or bleeding fish.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On October 26, 2013 Paul Steensma of Barcelona, Spain was visiting Manhattan Beach. He reported the following;“It was about 5 PM with an overcast sky with a small ocean swell and a breeze of 8 – 10 knots. It was a little chilly about 18 degrees Centigrade (65 degrees Fahrenheit). I observed a juvenile Great White Shark, about 5 feet in length, jump twice near the Manhattan Beach Pier. Several others near me saw the same thing and said it was a White Shark. I watched this for about one minute.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On October 25, 2013 Scott Layton reported the following;“I was surfing El Porto in Manhattan Beach at approximately 10:15 AM this morning when a juvenile white shark swam under my board. The water was 8 – 9 feet deep and I estimate the shark was approximately 8 feet in length. It appeared to be non-aggressive and was cruising in the surf approximately 30 yards from the beach. I moved away from it but continued surfing until around 11:30 AM and did not see it again. It was located just off the fenced corner between the plant and the beach.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manresa State Beach On October 23, 2013 William Neves was surfing at Manresa State Beach. It was 12:45 PM and he had been on the water about 45 minutes. The sky was overcast with an estimated air temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The water was 10 – 15 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom with a glassy calm sea surface and an estimated water temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit. A pod of dolphins were observed in the area prior to the encounter. Neves reported;“I had been surfing about 20 minutes and was out waiting for a set when a pod of dolphins came swimming towards me from the north to the south. They came very close to me, about the closest I've had any ever come by me. They were moving fast and not stopping like they usually do or swimming as slow as they usually do. I was sitting on my surfboard facing my buddy Grant and he was facing me, about 20 to 25 feet away. As I'm sitting there, I got a quick glimpse of long image on the left front corner of my surfboard. I thought it was a reflection of a bird's wing flying over me so I looked up but saw no bird fly by. The sky was very grey and overcast, which made it hard to see completely into water. Moments after looking up, maybe 3 – 5 seconds, I heard movement of water as if water was running slowly into a bucket. I looked to my right and 8 – 10 feet away was a dorsal fin, 12 – 14 inches high with a jagged trailing edge, cruising at a steady speed moving past me. When I realized what it was, I turned around and started paddling in as fast as I could looking at Grant and waving at him to paddled in. As I took off paddling back to shore the dorsal fin changed its direction from going back out to sea, to turning to its left back towards me as if it was going to circle me. After it changed its direction back towards me, it fully submerged and I didn't see it again. I paddled back to shore. The shark was 8 – 10 feet in length. Grant and I were in the parking lot changing out of our wetsuits when a surfer that had just finished coming out of water said he had just saw a shark pass under him. He asked if we had seen a shark.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Montara State Beach On October 23, 2013 Charlton Atchley was surfing at Montara State Beach. It was 3:45 PM and he had been on the water about 35 minutes. The sky was overcast with the air temperature estimated at 59 degrees Fahrenheit and the winds out of the NW. The surf was running 5 – 6 feet with an estimated water temperature in the upper 50s Fahrenheit and the water depth 8 – 9 feet over a sandy ocean bottom. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Atchley reported;“I was paddling out from just catching a small wave with a large set rolling through. I duck dived three waves and upon popping out of the fourth approximately 10 feet away I saw a decent sized, about 18 inches high, dorsal fin that was triangular in shape and medium grey in color, pass by, then it turned and dove. I immediately signaled to my buddy and paddled in. I did not see the shark again.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Carpinteria On October 18, 2013 Daniel Stearman gave the following report to Kevin Escalante, State Park Peace Officer, Carpinteria State Beach;“It was about 8:00 or 8:30 AM under a clear sky with very little wind. I had been fishing for about 2 hours from shore in Carpinteria just up the coast of Santa Claus Lane Beach access when I observed a large shark jump out of the water. I did not actually see the shark breach the water, but rather saw it in mid air. I was only able to observe the side profile of the shark, but as it turned I was able to see the bottom portion of the shark as well. The shark was 8 – 9 feet in length, grey with a white belly, and a black/grey vertical line along the body. After the shark fell back into the water I did not see it surface again. I observed numerous birds diving into and sitting on top of the water where the shark had breached. There were no other people on the beach.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On October 16, 2013 Jason Joel was surfing at 42nd Street off El Porto in Manhattan Beach. It was 5:00 PM and the sky was clear with no wind and an estimated air temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The ocean was calm and glassy with 1 – 2 foot waves over a sandy ocean bottom in 8 feet of water. The estimated water temperature was 64 degrees Fahrenheit and the visibility was greater than the depth as the bottom could be seen clearly from the surface. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Joel reported;“I was surfing El Porto in Manhattan Beach at 42nd street for about 40 minutes when a 7 foot White Shark completely breached the surface about 30 feet from me. The shark jumped at a near 90 degree angle out of the water turned and splashed on its side. I had an open wound on my foot and was already worried about sharks because of the wound so I immediately got out of the water. Two other surfers saw the shark and we told about 10 others in the water; but only one other surfer and got out with me. The lifeguard on duty told me that a 7 foot and a 9 foot shark have been spotted almost daily all summer and were the ‘local babies' and haven't bothered anyone. I've surfed this break frequently, the last 2 years, and have never encountered a shark previously.“ Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
La Jolla On October 16, 2013 Fox5 News, San Diego reported the following;“16-year-old fisherman witnessed a Great White Shark kill a seal and then circle his fishing boat off the coast of La Jolla this week. Charlie Saraspe showed Fox 5 video taken with his cellphone of the shark thrashing his tail and swimming next to his boat.‘He rubbed up against my boat and I was thinking,‘This shark is nearly as big as my boat!' said Saraspe.‘I could have pet him. It was like he wanted me to pet him.' Saraspe said he was fishing for yellow tail about 2 miles off the coast of Wind and Sea Beach when he encountered the shark.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On October 15, 2013 Rory Sullivan was surfing near 30th Street in Manhattan Beach. It was 11:45 AM and he had been on the water about 1.5 hours. It was clear and sunny with an estimated air temperature of 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The ocean was calm with 1 – 2 foot shore break over a sandy ocean bottom about 12 feet deep. Water temperature was estimated at 69 degrees Fahrenheit with water visibility greater than the depth as the bottom could be seen clearly from the surface. A pod of about 10 dolphins, consisting of adults and calves, moved through the area prior to the encounter with none in the area at the time of the encounter. Sullivan recounted;“I had been surfing with other surfers up and down the coast but none were within 100 yards of my location. The sea was very calm, less the 5 knots of variable wind, no cloud cover and great visibility. Surf was minimal with an occasional 1-2 foot sets & clear water visibility. On two separate occasions a pod of about 10 dolphins cruised by me, the closest passing about 4 feet in front of me. Additionally there were two ocean-going swimmers that were just making their way into shore after a distance swim, approximately 60 yards to my left. All of a sudden I noticed a large shadow passing about 10 feet to the right of me and initially thought the dolphins were back, I kept watching the shadow for another 8 – 10 seconds before I could clearly make out that it was a Great White Shark, approximately 8 feet long, casually swimming north to south at about 4 feet deep, towards the swimmers that were just making it to the break. I paddled over to them and calmly stated there was a shark in the area and they made their way out of the water. I too decided to call-it for the day.“ Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On October 14, 2013 Ariel Llinas was surfing El Porto at 42st Street in Manhattan Beach. It was 9:30AM and he had been on the water 45 minutes. The sky was clear with an estimated air temperature in the 60s Fahrenheit. The ocean was glassy with a sandy ocean bottom in 5 feet of water with an estimated temperature in the 60s Fahrenheit. Water visibility was greater than the depth as the bottom was clearly visible from the surface. No marine mammals were observed in the area but a number of birds were sitting on the water surface. Llinas reported;“I was on the inside sitting on my board with my legs dangling while my friend Dallas was on the outside waiting for a wave on his 10 foot board. I was sort of facing the South while my right profile was facing out to sea. Dallas was about to paddle for a wave when I noticed a shadow swim real close coming from my rear on my right side. I looked down and saw its big head and girth. There was no mistaking it visibility was real good. It was a great white shark bigger than my board but not bigger than 10 feet. I don't know if it was checking me out or just cruising by. At that point a wave was coming and Dallas was on top of it about to drop in. As soon as Dallas popped up over shark it spooked the shark in my direction, which was only about 2 feet away. I threw my legs on the board and said ‘f$#k that, I'm out!' then about 4 of us paddled out and looked at the line up for some sign of it but there was none. There was still a bunch of guys out there catching waves. We just decided to call it a day.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On October 10, 2013 Alex Siele was surfing El Porto at the 40th Tower in Manhattan Beach. It was about 6:45 PM with a clear sky and a slight breeze out of the west. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 65 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Siele reported;“I was sitting on my board about 30 yards from shore. While looking out to sea waiting for a set I saw a shark jump nearly vertical out of the water shaking in mid-air and it was least 5 feet above the water before it crashed back down. The shark breach was about 50 – 75 yards further out from my position. It was an extremely impressive sight. I thought it could have been a Mako Shark based on the speed it came out of the water, but it was most likely a White Shark. It looked to be a dark grey/blue with a pointed nose and was 7 – 10 feet in length.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Eureka On October 6, 2013 Jay Scrivner was surfing with several companions, including Sean Masters, 300 yards from shore and a like distance from the north jetty at ‘Bunkers' near Humboldt Bay. It was about 8:30am and he had been on the water for 2 hours. The sky was clear with a light east wind and an estimated air temperature in the upper 50s Fahrenheit. There swell was 4 – 5 feet at 15 seconds coming from the WNW about five minutes between sets with water visibility greater than 10 feet over a sandy ocean bottom about 20 feet deep. A single pinniped was observed about one hour prior to the attack frequently sticking its head out of the water looking at the surfers. Masters reported;“I was about 30 feet away from Jay who was lying on his board. There were no waves on the horizon, in the middle of the regular lulls. I was looking back towards the beach getting myself lined up and as I turned back to paddle up to Jay the shark was out of the water. The first thing I remember is this beautiful looking fish about 1 – 2 feet above the surface, parallel to the water and twisting like it was trying to turn back to Jay. Its body was like the shape of a banana, I never saw its head. Immediately I turned to the beach and the knee-boarder then quickly looked back for Jay. In this split second the shark was back in the water. It was at this point I saw Jay getting back on his board. I yelled at him to paddle and let's go the whole way to the beach. I wasn't even sure if he was bit at this point, but I was glad he was paddling in fast. It took a couple of minutes to paddle in, no sets. Finally 50 yards from shore a small wave took us in. Luckily a fellow surfer, Brock, saw the attack from the jetty and got everybody there out of the water. They were running up the beach to meet us as we got to shore. We carried Jay to dry sand and wrapped towels around the bite wounds on his left thigh. Due to the federal government shutdown the gate to the beach was closed and locked so nobody had their truck on the beach. Luckily someone had a cell phone but the rescue took way too long. It was about 20 – 25 minutes from the attack until the fire department got to the beach. If we would have been able to drive our trucks out he would have already been at the hospital. The Great White had a pristine white belly, dark grey top with no marks or blemishes. The shark looked healthy and I would guess 10 – 12 feet in length.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Montana De Oro State Park Beach On October 5, 2013 Jeff Edner was surfing at Montana De Oro State Park Beach located about six miles southwest of Morro Bay and 2 miles south of Los Osos. It was 11:30 AM and he had been on the water about 1.5 hours. The sky was clear and the seas calm. The water was about 30 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Edner reported;“While paddling around with only one other surfer in the water, both of us saw a fin about 50 yards from the beach and immediately knew it was something different. The fin was a large and had a single straight edge. It came up for several seconds then submerged quickly. The fin was accompanied by a very large shadow at least 8 feet long. The fin was straight edged and larger then a dolphin's dorsal fin. It moved slowly through the water in a way not normally exhibited by dolphins. We exited the water as quickly as possible and watched the horizon for more movement. Nothing was seen after the initial sighting.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On October 3, 2013 Tony Ferreira was Stand-Up-Paddle Boarding near 30 th Street in Manhattan Beach. It was 9:15AM and he had been on the water about 30 minutes. The sky was overcast with a slight onshore wind and an estimated air temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea surface was smooth with 3 – 4 foot waves over a sandy ocean bottom 8 -10 feet deep and an estimated water temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Ferreira reported; “I was stand up paddle surfing and while paddling back to the lineup, after catching a wave, I noticed what appeared to be a juvenile Great White Shark, dark gray, 7 – 8 feet in length, cruising south bound just past the surf break. I paddled towards it, but it didn't seem to acknowledge my presence. It was swimming in a zig-zag pattern and I tried to keep sight of it and to try to identify the type and length. I'm guessing it was a Great White because it had a very wide head and it just looked like what I've seen in pictures. At one point it started swimming towards some surfers and I followed it trying to point it out to them. Although the shark got within less than 5 feet from them, they were not able to see it. At that point I got hit by a wave and fell off my board next to the shark. I'm guessing that I startled it because I didn't see it anymore after that. From my vantage point of standing up on my board I could see it the whole time it was around us and I estimate the encounter to have lasted 5 to 7 minutes. I estimated the length of the shark as it swam by me using my board length of 9 feet 6 inches to compare the size.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On October 3, 2013 Eric Weiner was surfing 40 – 50 feet from shore north of the parking lot and just off the rocks at El Porto in Manhattan Beach. It was 7:00AM and he had been on the water about 30 minutes. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the mid-60s Fahrenheit. It was overcast with a light south breeze. The ocean surface was glassy smooth with water visibility less than 3 feet over a sandy bottom about 12 feet deep. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Weiner reported;“I had just finished riding a wave and was sitting up on my board when a shark breached in front of me and 2 other surfers. It was about 15 feet away and appeared to be a young White Shark, grey with a white belly and 3 – 4 feet in length. However the encounter was a very brief, only a few seconds. It flew completely out of the water then re-entered and swam away. It may have been consuming a fish, I'm not sure.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Huntington Beach On October 2, 2013 Charles Alzner was surfing at Huntington Beach near 17th Street. It was 6:45 PM and he had been on the water about one hour. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the upper 60s Fahrenheit. The ocean was choppy from a brisk onshore wind. There was 6 feet of water visibility over a sandy ocean bottom about 10 feet deep with several schools of small baitfish in the area. Alzner reported;“I was sitting on my board out past the surf break waiting for a set to come in. I spotted the shark about 15 feet further out from me swimming south. The shark did not appear interested in me as it was swimming slowly. It was large, about ten feet in length, gray in color with a thick body and black eyes.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
San Pedro On September 29, 2013 Alex Souders was diving off White Point San Pedro. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 75 and 62 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. Souders reported the following;“While I was SCUBA diving I came across the carcass of a dolphin approximately 30 yards from shore in 35 feet of water. There were two large bite marks on the side/abdomen and the side/tail of the dolphin. The wounds were approximately 18 – 24 inches in diameter.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Hope Ranch On September 28, 2013 Steve Serbanich was Stand-Up-Paddleboarding 0.5 miles off the coast of Hope Ranch about 3 miles south of Goleta Beach Park, Santa Barbara County. It was 9:30 AM and he had been on the water about 90 minutes. The sky was clear with a slight South-South-East wind and an estimated air temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea was calm and water depth about 40 feet with a sandy/mud bottom and an estimated temperature of 63 degrees Fahrenheit. Both sea lions and seals were observed all morning during his paddle but none were present at the time of encounter. Serbanich reported the following;“I had been paddling south down the Goleta coast at a steady pace listening to music with only one ear bud in my ear. I was in front of Hope Ranch Private Beach when I heard a splashing behind me. The splashes got me wet from my butt down to my feet. When I turned to see what had splashed me I saw a large gray body going under the churned up water. I saw the large figure swim under my board, rolling onto its left side. I saw the shark's eye, teeth, gill slits, full body and both dorsal and tail fins as the shark swam under my board. It was close enough to me that I could see that the tail was beat up. There was what looked like worm like parasites on its tail. When I noticed that it was a shark, I have had large male sea lions splash me like this before, I knelled down lowering my center of gravity. I watched the shark swim a figure eight under me as it stayed on its left side looking up at me the whole time. The Great White Shark was at least as long as my 12'6” board, maybe longer. It swam out to sea and I did not see it again. I stayed on my knees paddling to the beach at a steady pace trying to keep from splashing the water.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On September 25, 2013 Lev Shaibi reported the following;“I regularly surf El Porto in Manhattan Beach and like others, have seen several sharks in the lineup as of late. I surfed several days this week and have had numerous sightings between Lifeguard Tower 42 and 45. Yesterday (9-25) it was very crowded with 3 – 4 foot waves and a strong wind from the south. There was a noticeable temperature gradient in several areas near tower 45 between the surface and 3 feet below. Tons of bait fish jumping. I was sitting on my board 40 yards from shore in 6 feet of water when a 5 – 6 foot shark passed between me and another surfer at a depth of five feet traveling south at around 11:00am. At around 11:00am on September 24 near Tower 42 I spotted a small three foot shark (non leopard) in the crest of a rolling wave. Waves were small and lineup was not crowded. There were several sea lions that were cruising the inside of the lineup which I haven't seen in a while. There were others in deeper water that were jumping. On September 23 at around 10:15am I was near tower 40 when I noticed an 8 foot shark at the bottom of 7 feet of water. This shark was heading north then turned right underneath me and headed southwest. I alerted other surfers who were farther out. All just shrugged it off and paddled further out as a set was coming in. Waves were about 4 feet and water surface was bumpy. On all occasions, the water was extremely clear with visibility to the bottom, could even see sand dollars and small fish down there.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On September 23, 2013 Leah Beebe was surfing amongst an undetermined number of companion surfers at 15 Street in Manhattan Beach. It was 2:00PM and she had been on the water about 2 hours. The sky was clear with a light onshore breeze and an estimated air temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. There was a wind swell on the sea surface with 1 – 3 foot occasional sets and a receding low tide. The water was about 10 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom with a nearby sandbar and an estimated temperature of 66 degrees Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Leah reported;“A surfing friend, Danny, was about 20 feet from me when he saw the shark. He glimpsed down and noticed a large shark figure swim below him. He almost immediately began to swim in towards shore. Others in our group didn't believe him at first and continued to paddle out. He then stated the shark he saw was about 8 feet in length. Everyone took him seriously and paddled in. The shark was swimming south towards the pier.“ Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On September 23, 2013 Seth Bergstrom was surfing about 30 yards from shore at Manhattan Beach near Lifeguard Tower 45. It was 10:00AM and he had been on the water about one hour. The sky was clear with the ocean ‘glassy smooth' and 3 – 4 foot waves ‘pushing a high tide.' Air and water temperatures were estimated at 70 and 66 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. Water visibility was at least 8 – 10 feet as the bottom could be seen clearly from the surface. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Bergstrom reported;“I was sitting on my surfboard in the lineup, it was a relatively crowded day. As a wave came through another surfer paddled to catch it. I turned to paddle over the wave and noticed a large dark silhouette, 5 – 6 feet in length, under me and swimming north directly under the lineup. Its shape was clearly a shark and much larger than the leopard sharks that sometimes swim in the area. It appeared oblivious to all the surfers above it and swam off. I had almost the exact same encounter on Sept. 13th, same spot, same silhouette swimming in the same direction about the same time of the morning.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Santa Barbara On September 13, 2013 Mick Kronman, Harbor Operations Manager, City of Santa Barbara, reported the following;“At 10:43 PM the Harbor Patrol received a credible report of a shark sighting. The reporting party is the owner of an anchored boat 300 feet east of the wharf. He said while paddling his kayak from his boat to the wharf he saw a shark. He estimated the dorsal fin height to be around 18 inches. He stated when he saw the shark he retreated back onto a neighboring sail boat. The shark swam in the area between the Sea Center and the boat he was on for a few minutes then disappeared. He then got back onto his kayak and made his way to the Wharf ladder and came across the shark again. The reporting party said he was able to get a good look at the shark numerous times and said the last time he saw the shark, was minutes before contacting the Harbor Patrol. Due to the credible report, Harbor Patrol will be posting 72 hour Shark Advisory signs pending no further incidents.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Carpinteria On September 12, 2013 Matthew Roberts, Director, Parks and Recreation City of Carpinteria, and Peter Howorth, Santa Barbara Marine Mammal Center, reported the following;“The City of Carpinteria received a report of a shark sighting at 9:40AM today just off of the Casitas Pier in Carpinteria. George Jimenez, Lin Wingate and Jebne Haifa, three oil company employees, were working at the end of Casitas Pier when they saw a large shark. Wingate told Roberts and Howorth that the shark was16 feet in length by comparing the shark's length to his office on the end of the pier. He estimated the dorsal fin between 2.5 and 3 feet high. He believed the shark was perhaps 5 feet across the back. It was dark gray above and white on the sides. The conditions were excellent for viewing as the day was windless with bright sun and the ocean surface condition was flat and glassy. The ocean water had fair clarity with perhaps 10 feet of visibility. The three employees pointed to where they saw the shark. It was seen within 20 feet of the pier on the west side about 450 feet from the shoreline. As the pier deck is about 25 feet above the water, the workers had an excellent view and reported they looked straight down and could see the entire animal from nose to tail's end. They affirmed that is was unmistakably a shark. They reported that the animal swam non- aggressively and then meandered off to the southwest.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Newport Beach On September 8, 2013 Kent Martin was piloting a 21 foot vessel at the entrance to Newport Beach Harbor and was about 250 yards from shore. It was 1:00 PM under a sunny sky. Air and water temperature were estimated at 78 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit. Martin reported;“I observed a dozen seals that were hauled out tanning on the harbor entrance buoy. There were two pinnipeds that had signs of injuries. The worst was still bleeding from a gash that looked to be about 9 – 10 inches and very deep from the neck . The second animal's wound was four deep gashes that resembled a bear claw.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On September 5, 2013 Michael Vicuna was walking in the surf about 20 yards from shore in Manhattan Beach. It was 3:00 – 3:30 PM under a sunny sky with a brisk wind. The water depth was 3 feet with visibility greater than the depth. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 82 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The bottom was sandy with rocks of diverse sizes and shapes scattered throughout. He had been in the water about 40 minutes. Vicuna reported;“I was walking in the water about 20 yards from shore picking up rocks. I suddenly noticed something passing in front of me, close to my legs. After a few seconds of looking closely in the water I was able to see a ‘black shark,'about 3 feet in length and big with a dark brown or black color. It started swimming fast when I moved the water with my hands to get a better view. It was quickly gone from the area.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Santa Cruz On September 4, 2013 Barret ‘Bear' Pruden was kayak fishing between Pleasure Point and Santa Cruz Harbor. He was about 0.5 miles from shore in water 45 feet deep with a recorded temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. He started fishing at about 7:30 AM Pruden reported the following;“I was fishing just south of the harbor at around 8:30am. The thing was only about 20 feet under my kayak. I was reeling in a big hammer lure, and got a huge hit. I thought it was a halibut from the head shake. I set the hook and reached for my GOPro when the thing came completely out of the water. The sound that it made coming out of the water is probably what it sounds like when a submarine fires a nuclear missile and it rockets out of the water. It was so loud that I felt it. It seemed to freeze in mid air, getting its entire body out of the water before it does a belly flop that explodes the water around it. The shark was about 30 feet away from me when it jumped out of the water. It was a Great White Shark that had to have been between 12 – 15 feet long, maybe longer. It was twice as thick as my kayak, real fatty and a dark blue gray on top and the bottom was super bright white. There were no patterns on the shark that I could see, although I was looking at its mouth open as it launched through the sky. I called for assistance on the radio since I did not want to die out there without someone knowing what happened. It circled my kayak several times before the line snapped. I fished for the next 2 hours but nothing was biting. The shark did not return.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
El Segundo Beach On September 3, 2013 Mike Durand was Stand-Up-Paddleboarding near the big jetty in El Segundo Beach. It was 10:00 AM and he had been on the water about 1 hour. The sky was clear with a recorded air temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. There was a light ripple on the ocean with the surf running about waist high. The water was 20 feet deep over a sandy ocean floor, in close proximity to the jetty, and a recorded water temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Durand reported;“I was unaware of the shark's presence until it swam under my Stand-Up-Paddleboard then slowly circled me and then swam away. The Great White Shark was about 8 feet in length with a very wide, thick, body.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Newport Beach On September 3, 2013 Richard Stamy was surfing 100 yards from shore near the Newport Beach river jetty. It was 10:00am and he had been on the water about one hour. The sky was clear with an estimated air temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea was calm with an estimated temperature of 62 degrees Fahrenheit with 20 feet of water visibility over a sandy ocean bottom about 10 feet deep. Schools of baitfish were observed in the area. Stamy recalled;“I sighted this shark about 50 feet away as it hit the surface, probably feeding on fish. I did not see the head rather I saw the dorsal, left pectoral and caudal fins, which were all a dark grey. The distance between the dorsal and caudal fins was approximately 6 feet. I estimated that the shark was a total length of 8 – 10 feet. It came to the surface and appeared to be feeding on bait fish. There were not many surfers in the water as It was the Tuesday after Labor Day weekend so the lineup was fairly un-crowded. The shark only surfaced for around 3 seconds. I observed that it did not surface and there were no dolphins in the area. I waited about 10 minutes to see if it surfaced again because there are a lot of dolphins in the Huntington Beach/Newport Beach area. None appeared. I did not say anything to others around me because it looked like a small great white shark.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Santa Barbara On September 1, 2013 Peter Howorth, Santa Barbara Marine Mammal Center, reported the following:“A California sea lion on one of the entrance buoys to Santa Barbara Harbor was first seen this morning and was attacked within the last 24 hours and probably much sooner than that. The wounds are very fresh. You can clearly see triangular cuts in the skin typical of a white shark. You can also see the spacing between each tooth in the photo. The wounds were inflicted with the upper jaw and teeth, but the lower jaw was not involved. This is not unusual. Sometimes the prey reacts very quickly, before the shark can close its jaws. The wounds on this sea lion, though unpleasant, are not life-threatening to the animal. Since animals on buoys must be caught by people in the water and since the wounds are very fresh, we will not attempt any rescue at this time. Having people in the water with sea lions, especially a wounded one, constitutes too great a risk for our personnel. The wounds on this sea lion are similar in size and position to those of the animal killed yesterday. Yesterday, another adult female California sea lion was attacked and killed a short distance offshore immediately west of Arroyo Burro Beach. Arroyo Burro Beach is less than five miles from the harbor, so these two attacks were close to one another. Considering this it is possible that the same shark was involved.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Santa Barbara On September 1, 2013 Karen Reiman and her husband were piloting a motorized rubber raft just outside the entrance to Santa Barbara Harbor. They had entered the water about one hour prior to their encounter. They had been south of the harbor during this time. It was about 11:15 AM under a sunny sky with a comfortably warm air temperature. The sea was calm as the motored toward the harbor entrance. The buoy at the harbor's entrance they thought was blue and covered with pinnipeds. Reiman reported the following;“I was out on our motorized rubber raft with my husband. We first were down by the Biltmore but decided to head up past the harbor to Hope Ranch. We drove close to a blue buoy (I think) to look at the seals and that is when we spotted a dorsal fin about 20 feet from where the seals were. The fin was about 8 to 10 inches in height and was just moving in a straight line on the surface. It appeared to be almost black in color to me and brown to my husband. We drove by again to make sure we saw what we thought we saw and saw the fin again but lost sight before I could get my camera out. We continued up to Goleta before returning to the harbor at about 1:00 PM. The shark was not observed again.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Santa Barbara On August 31, 2013 Nick Kennedy accompanied by Marshall Pingle and Tim Lane were swimming off Butterfly Beach in Montecito, Santa Barbara County. It was about 11:00 PM and they were 15 – 20 yards from shore in water 8 – 10 feet deep. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the low 70s and mid-60s Fahrenheit, respectively. There were no marine mammals observed in the area. There was an abundance of bio-luminescent plankton noticed in the small waves as the broke on shore. Kennedy reported the following;“I was swimming with two friends at Butterfly Beach. While treading water I felt something firmly grasping my left foot. I instinctively kicked my foot and it let go. I decided to swim closer to the shore as it began to hurt. I began feeling a very intense pain and throbbing, like it was pulsating. It was painful, but not intolerable. After a while I exited the water and limped back to my car with my two friends. I rinsed the wound with fresh water. I applied bandages and put my sock back on my foot. My physician prescribed antibiotics and I received a tetanus shot.” The wound to the foot exhibits both an upper and lower jaw dental pattern. Based on tooth ‘interspace measurements' the causal species appears to be a Salmon Shark, Lamna ditropis, which came ashore at 5:00 PM the following day, September 1, 2013, less than one nautical mile from Kennedy's location the previous night. This is the third shark attack reported from the Pacific Coast this year. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Santa Barbara On August 31, 2013 Peter Howorth, Santa Barbara Marine Mammal Center, reported the following;“Sometime this morning (before 1000 hrs.), an adult female California sea lion was attacked just west of Arroyo Burro Beach, widely known as Hendry's Beach by local residents. It was first seen floating about 100 yards offshore at about 1000 hrs. Accounts differ as to whether it was alive or dead at the time. It drifted ashore east of the main beach about 150 yards at 1530 hrs. The sea lion had been bitten in the abdomen. A large section of skin and blubber was missing. The animal had been eviscerated by the main bite and pelvic bones were exposed. In my opinion, it probably survived only minutes after being attacked. I say this from experience with other sea lions that have been attacked in the same way and were observed from the time of attack to the time of death. The shark that attacked it was sizable but not large as sharks go. It had received two or three bites, some of which just went into the skin and others of which encompassed part or all of the wound. To avoid the chances of the carcass washing back out to sea and creating a ‘chum line' during this busy weekend, we removed it. Santa Barbara County is posting signs and warning beach goers through tomorrow, Sunday, September 1st, at Arroyo Burro Beach.” ‘Interspace measurements' taken by Peter Howorth indicate a White Shark 10 – 12 feet in length. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On August 28, 2013 David Jina was surfing 50 feet from shore in front of the Lifeguard Tower at 34th Street in Manhattan Beach. There were 10 additional surfers in the water with Jina and all were using boards from 7 – 9 feet in length. It was about 10:00 AM and he had been on the water about 20 minutes. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 75 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The ocean was calm with 1 – 2 foot waves with 10 – 15 feet of water visibility outside the surf zone. The ocean floor was sandy with a depth of 5 – 6 feet at the encounter location. Several adult Dolphin were observed further out from shore. Jina recounted; “I had paddled out and was surfing with the others. While waiting for waves I was sitting on board at the time of sighting. A friend said she saw a shark in one of the cresting waves. A few moments later several of the people in our party saw the shark as well. Two surfers had it swim between them in only 3 – 4 feet of water. I paddled over to it to get a closer look and followed the shark for a bit until it appeared to turn towards me. At which point I made my exit. The shark was 5 – 6 feet in length, very girthy, and dark in color. They were tagging sharks yesterday in this area.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On August 27, 2013 sharks were observed swimming off Manhattan Beach at Rosecrans Avenue, just south of LA International Airport. NBC's News Chopper 4 reported at least 3 sharks within 150 yards of bathers. Although, historically shark sightings at this location have been reported during this time of year, the frequency of reported sightings is up this year. The sharks, which appear to be juvenile Great White Sharks, have been observed north of Manhattan Beach Pier to El Porto, a favorite surfing location for locals. In the past month, Peter Wallerstein, Marine Animal Rescue, said he's seen several sea lions wash up alive along the Manhattan Beach coast with their tails and rear flippers bitten off. The bites were obviously inflicted by sharks, but no injured or bitten sea lions were reported this week. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Torrey Pines State Beach On August 25, 2013 Sadie Konrad went surfing with two unidentified friends at Torrey Pines State Beach located south of Del Mar and North of La Jolla, in San Diego County. It was 5:30 PM and she had been on the water about 15 minutes. The sky was clear with an estimated air temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea conditions were consisted of average waves with a strong tide going to the right of the beach and a depth of 4 – 6 feet. Water temperature was 50 – 60 degrees Fahrenheit. A Sea Lion and several Dolphins were observed in the area. Konrad reported the following;“My friend, his younger brother, and I were paddling out looking for a sea lion another friend said they saw earlier. I'm certain it was a shark, but one friend who was with me thinks it was a dolphin. I have serious doubts on his theory. We spotted it once while we were out, but didn't see it again. A wave had crashed and I saw a fin and the tip of the tail go by and slowly under the water. It didn't pay any attention to us, but I still screamed 'shark!' and we all three paddled back to shore as fast as we could. We looked back and I thought I may have seen the fin again, going in the same direction it had been going before, which was with the tide going to the right. A woman nearby had her 4 young children in the water with her, and I told her what we saw and she exited the water with her family immediately. We didn't see the shark again. The shark was black or dark grey on top; I saw it in a wave and saw its dorsal fin and the tip of its tail. The length from the dorsal fin to the tip was about 3 – 4 feet.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Clam Beach On August 25, 2013 Ross Taylor was salmon fishing with an unspecified number of companions one mile off Clam Beach, which is located 7.5 miles north of Arcata where the mouth of the Mad River meets the Pacific Ocean. It was 10:00 AM under an intermittent cloudy day with a calm ocean. Taylor recounted;”While trolling for salmon, we observed a floating sea lion carcass that appeared partially eaten. There was one obvious crescent-shaped bite out of the carcass and this appeared to be large, 16 – 18 inches across. We were in 100 feet of water about one mile from shore. We were also within 2 – 3 miles of Moonstone Beach, a popular surfing spot that has had documented shark attacks.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On August 24, 2013 Diane Louttit was Stand-Up-Paddleboarding at Manhattan Beach near 20th Street. It was 8:55 AM and she had been on the water about one hour. The sky was overcast with an estimated air temperature of 63 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea was calm with the surf 1 – 2 feet and a water depth of 15 – 20 feet. The estimated water temperature was 69 degrees Fahrenheit with water visibility limited due to a significant amount of suspended silt. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Louttit recounted;“I noticed a dorsal fin in the water 3 – 4 feet ahead of me. The shark was slowly swimming away from the surfers in the water. It swam lazily under my board and continued moving away from the shore. The shark showed no interest in me or the board. I stopped paddling and turned around to watch it move away. While watching the shark behind me I fell off my board. I inadvertently enjoyed a brief swim with the shark, which was gray in color and about 5 feet in length.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Stinson Beach On August 20, 2013 Journalist Ellen Huet, San Francisco Chronicle, reported the following;“At 9:53 AM Lifeguards at Stinson Beach in Marin County declared swimming, and other ocean activities, off limits through Saturday following a Great White Shark sighting. The shark was first observed 300 yards offshore on Monday at about 1:40 PM according to Supervising Lifeguard Patrick Burns. Lifeguards then saw ‘lots of shark activity' in the area near a young fin whale that had beached itself and died earlier in the day. A necropsy was performed on the whale, which allowed some body fluids, including blood, to seep into the breaking waves and be carried out to sea. The closest shark was sighted about 5:00 PM Monday in roughly waist-deep water, which is unusually close, Burns said. If lifeguards see another shark Tuesday, the beach closure will be extended another day. The closure will be lifted after five days with no sightings.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On August 18, 2013 Brett Butler was Stand-Up-Paddle surfing at Manhattan Beach near the Lifeguard Tower at 34th Street. It was 1:30 PM and he had been on the water about one hour. The sky was overcast with a slight wind and an estimated air temperature of 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Except for two Dolphin observed when he entered the water, no other marine mammals were observed during the surfing session. The waves were small with the water depth only about 4 feet deep at his location. During the session he had traveled into deeper water and estimated underwater visibility to be about 20 feet. Butler reported;“I was stationary, just balancing while waiting for set waves, just outside the surf zone. I looked down and clear as day, just cruising at the surface, almost looking at me 3 feet away very near to the surface was a Great White Shark about 10 feet long and girthy. It seemed to roll slightly so that it could look up at me as it glided past my board. It was not swimming fast and appeared to be ‘just checking me out.' It was no more than 3 feet from my board when it passed. The sighting last less than 10 seconds.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Montana de Oro State Beach On August 17, 2013 Jason Howard went scuba diving with an undisclosed number of companions at Montana de Oro State Beach, located six miles Southwest of Morro Bay and 2 miles South of Los Osos in San Luis Obispo County. It was 12:15 PM and he had been in the water about 10 minutes. A patchy fog had cleared early to sunny skies with a recorded air temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. There was a 5 – 7 foot swell with a slight wind ripple on the sea surface and a recorded water temperature of 53 degrees Fahrenheit. The recorded depth was 59 feet with pinnacles and crevices the primary structure of the reef. There was an abundance of fish in this area. Water visibility at the bottom was roughly 15 feet with a reduction to about 10 feet near the surface. This was due to suspended plankton and debris turning the water ‘greener' at surface. Numerous pinnipeds had been observed at prior locations but none were present in the encounter area. Howard recounted;“My third dive at this location was to retrieve the stringer of fish I had lost on my second dive. I had entered the water and descended to 59 feet. I could not locate my stringer, which held two good Vermillion Rockfish (Sebastes miniatus) and one Lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus). Disappointed I couldn't locate my lost stringer I started my ascent to the surface stopping at roughly 15 feet for a safety decompression stop. I was watching my computer counting down when I caught glimpse of a shadow, which I thought was a seal, until I saw the highly angled tail fin. It took about two seconds to compute what I saw and then it re-appeared heading in the same direction but much closer, possibly having circled me. I could easily identify it by the irregular line that separated grey from white. That color separation is stuck in my head. I could clearly see the entire shark. I could clearly see the outline I could clearly see the eye. It was within 10 feet of my position when I used my spear gun, without a spear, as a prod, pointing it toward the shark and kicking swiftly to try and poke it in an attempt to scare it away. I never touched it. It looked to be just inches away from the end of my spear gun as it swam past. Its movements were smooth and looked slow after attempting to poke at it I immediately surfaced and yelled for help, put my regulator back in my mouth and looked back down into the water. I started my swim back to the boat. I yelled for help about five times, put my regulator back in my mouth, and continued to swim, all the while looking below me to try and see the shark. My buddies dropped anchor and raced to me. I got on the swim deck and they dragged me aboard never having seen the shark again. We immediately left the area. The shark didn't look like a giant, maybe 10 – 13 feet in length with the tail fin a steep angled fin and the line between grey and white was irregular and very vivid. The rush of emotions were intense once on the boat. I didn't feel the fear until after I was out of the water. It's still tough to write about this now.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Half Moon Bay On August 17, 2013 Wendi Zuccaro, and a friend Anne visiting from Germany, were surfing 150 yards from shore near the Jetty at Pillar Point in Half Moon Bay. The sky was clear with an estimated temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea was calm and 4 – 5 feet deep with a sandy ocean floor and a water temperature around 52 or 54 degrees Fahrenheit. It was about 12:40 PM and they had been on the water for 2 hours. Zuccaro reported;“It was unusually active with literally hundreds, maybe 200 – 300 seabirds on top of the water instead of the normal 30 – 50. I noticed 15 – 20 Harbor Seals (white with grey spots) splashing all around instead of the regular 2 – 4. As Anne and I walked out into the water we noticed that we could see the ocean floor and the crabs walking around. As we continued out, we were about 48 inches deep when I noticed babies (sharks,) about 18 – 32 inches long, swimming around our legs, but they didn't seem interested in us and I didn't want to scare her so I didn't tell her until way after our session. That was about 11:00 AM. We caught a few small waves but it was pretty flat at 1240 PM. We were both lying flat on our boards with no limbs hanging off and we were just talking and waiting for a wave. All of a sudden, something hit the bottom of my board two feet from the fins and tossed me and the board into the air about 2 – 3 feet. I held onto the board and recovered. Anne asked what happened and since she doesn't know much about sharks, she has a fear of them so I said it was probably a seal or sea lion even though I knew it wasn't. At 1:00 PM, Anne said, ‘Look, I think there's a whale right behind us close to the surface you can see its shadow.' I turned my head thinking that it wasn't a whale because we were not that far out. What I saw was a White Shark with its dorsal barely under the water surface. It just coasted by (moving away from the rock wall so maybe its belly was full?) It passed right behind us just under a foot away. It never slowed, stopped or even circled. It was just cruising by. I kept watching it and since it wasn't interested in us, I just watched this amazing creature pass and appreciated what it could do had it been hungry. It was dark gray and roughly 10 – 12 feet long with a girthy body. After that, I told Anne that maybe we should go in and check out the conditions from the beach. Since she was getting cold, she agreed. I checked the bottom of my board after and saw the bite marks on it and took 2 pictures on my cell phone.” This is the second authenticated shark attack from the Pacific Coast of North America this year. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Capitola On August 15, 2013 Lawrence Hofman, M.D. was fishing with his sons off New Brighton State Beach, a 95 acre park located east of Santa Cruz near the city of Capitola. The air and surface water temperatures were recorded at 75 and 68.3 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. It was 12:45 PM with a clear sky and a 5 knot breeze. The ocean was calm with a 2 foot swell and about 8 feet of water visibility. The fathometer recorded a water depth of 19.8 feet over a sandy ocean floor. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Hofman reported the following; “I was out with my boys fishing for halibut from the ‘poop pipe,' up to Capitola. We were about 200 yards out from New Brighton State Beach when it happened. We had about 30 sand dabs in the live well that we had caught at the ‘poop pipe.' The live well was pumping the water out to the starboard side of the boat. I was fishing on that side, and about 20 feet from the boat I saw this shape appear and swim directly at the water effluent from the live well. It was about 2 feet underwater, and came to about 1 foot from my boat, head on, at a slow pace, turned 90 degrees toward my stern and swam away. It was about half the length of my boat and had a huge girth. My boat is 33 feet long, so I am guessing 12 – 16 feet long. Two of my other sons saw it as well. It was only a 5 – 10 second encounter and I didn't have time to get my camera. The interesting part was there were 25 swimmers in the water at the beach. I hailed the lifeguard on channel 9 and told them what I saw. They said thank you, but didn't clear the water, which is probably the right call.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
New Brighton State Beach On August 13, 2013 Dana Marterella reported; “I was camping at New Brighton State Beach just outside of Santa Cruz with my girlfriend, Valecia and my Portuguese Water Dog, Aesop. The campsite is on the bluff overlooking the ocean, so in the morning of the 13th, we went to the beach and spent most of the day swimming. It was a very active day at the beach with people fishing and kayaking. In general the ocean seemed active. There were a few young seals in the water that appeared to be very social and curious. After the three of us had exited the water I suddenly noticed everything seemed very calm. The seals had all disappeared and the surface of the water appeared still and glassy. A few moments later, a flock of large pelicans starting lining the shore. There were so many of them, and they were so large, that they scared a few straggling swimmers out of the water. I looked at the water and thought, ‘Of all the times I've stared at the ocean, it's never seemed as still and creepy as right now.' I had never noticed every animal disappear so suddenly before. Then I saw a great white shark breach the surface of the water. His whole body ejected straight up into the air. The shark wasn't huge, but I definitely recognized that it was a great white. He was probably about 9-12 feet long. About 6 – 8 minutes after the sighting the pelicans descended into the water en masse. Shortly after that, all sorts of life returned to the ocean, particularly the scavenging birds.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
San Onofre State Beach On August 10, 2013 Lance Blake reported the following;“At 0945 hours, I was surfing at Trail Five with four friends, two on the beach and two in the water with me. It was a Saturday but the crowds were light due to lack of surf. We had been on the water about 2.5 hours. The tide was pushing in (rising) so the waves were breaking closer to shore. There was a lot of dolphin activity about 100 yards out to sea from the line up. The Dolphins seemed to be hanging around in the area lots of breaching and swimming in clusters with other dolphins, there was also a lot of bait fish in the line up so maybe they were feeding. The waves were waist high with chest high sets, maybe breaking 50 yards from the shore. I had just taken a wave all the way to the shore so began to paddle back into the lineup. As I was paddling back out a set wave rolled through and in the wave I saw a large mass. It was not riding the wave like Dolphins it was just in the wave, almost like being in an aquarium. I have been surfing for over 30 years and I have seen lots of sea creatures in the surf like seals, otters, sea lions, dolphins, I had never seen anything like this. Oh yea it was directly in front of me probably 50 feet away. So I stared at it because I had never seen something like this, then it hit me (not literally), it's a Great White Shark. The first thing I noticed was the girth this animal had, it was poised in the wave and it was turning to its left. It wasn't a Sea Lion because I could see the back tapering down towards what would have been the tail area and it was way too big to be a Dolphin. I didn't freak out because I was far enough away that I didn't feel I was in danger. My two friends were about 30 yards north of the shark. The color seemed to be a dark brown. I would estimate the size to be 8 – 10 feet. I immediately went in and called in my friends. I stood on the beach for about 25 minutes and never saw it or any other evidence of its presence. Water depth was approximately 6 – 7 feet.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
San Onofre State Beach On August 5, 2013 Dave Schulte and his son, Ryan, were surfing with an unknown companion on vacation from North Carolina. They were at Trail One, San Onofre State Beach. It was 6:00 PM and they had been in the water about 2 hours. Air and water temperatures were both estimated in the upper 60s or low 70s Fahrenheit. It was sunny with a mild breeze. The ocean was ‘glassy smooth.' The rocky ocean floor had scattered areas of sand with a depth of 5 – 6 feet and underwater visibility of about 3 feet. Schulte recalled;“About 5 minutes prior to the encounter, 3 Dolphins were observed moving through the line-up very close to shore. There were large schools of baitfish that would frequently jump up out of the water, as if being chased from below. I had also noticed many sand crabs on the shore before entering the water. My son and I were surfing with a guy visiting from North Carolina. We were the only surfers out at Trail One. It was high tide and we were sitting 50 feet offshore in 5 – 6 feet of water. We saw 3 Dolphins swam right by us and there were a lot of baitfish in the area. Then 5 minutes later a shark swam right under our surfboards. We thought it was a Dolphin at first but it never broke the surface. Within a few moments I identified it as a Great White Shark, based on its movements and my previous observations of sharks in the area. Then about one minute later it came back from the opposite direction and hit the leg of the surfer from North Carolina, bumping him completely off his board. He was sitting 5 feet from me so I got a very good look at his face; he was freaked out by what just happened. We continued to surf for another half hour and had no more encounters with the shark. The guy from North Carolina went ashore following the bump.” Although there was physical contact between the shark and surfer, the testimony suggests that the shark merely swam by the subject so closely that it rubbed up against his leg. His reflex was to exit the board quickly. Due to this ambiguity we have not listed this case as an unprovoked shark attack. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Pebble Beach On July 29, 2013 Stevin Strickland with the Northcoast Marine Mammal Center reported the following;“This dolphin carcass washed ashore at Pebble Beach near Crescent City. Sheriff and Vet Techs arrived at scene. The Medical Director of the Northcoast Marine Mammal Center and center staff present at the wash up believe is was either an Orca or Great White kill. It was spotted at about 10:00 am and was fresh and the bite was clean. Weather here was cool and foggy, light breeze. There were no witnesses. The area is a highly concentrated pinniped hall out, with Castle Rock NWR immediately adjacent (Garth's Reef surf spot).” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Bacara Resort On July 28, 2013 Peter Howorth of the Santa Barbara Marine Mammal Center reported the following;“Today we rescued a yearling female California sea lion near the Bacara Resort, located west of Goleta. It measured 38 inches standard length and weighed 30 pounds. It had one bite wound that shattered its lower jaw on one side and inflicted a deep wound on the other side of its neck. It also had secondary wounds on the head and neck. The skin showed characteristic triangular flaps in several places consistent with white shark teeth. The animal also had wounds in the body area, again showing skin tears consistent with white shark teeth. Judging from the infection, we estimate that the wounds had been inflicted two to three days prior to the animal being rescued. Because of the shattered jaw, the animal was euthanized. From the ‘interspace' distance between the individual tooth impressions, I believe this to be a juvenile white shark.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Pacifica State Beach On July 24, 2013 Caroline Krieble was walking along Pacifica State Beach, located in San Mateo County between San Francisco and Half Moon Bay. It was 2:00PM with a foggy overcast sky and an air temperature of about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Krieble recounted;“I looked out and saw a huge Great White Shark, at least 17 feet in length, at the surface about 200 yards from shore. Then a large number of fish began breaking the surface of the water which attracted Pelicans and other sea birds to the area. For a while the shark appeared to be motionless at the surface then in very slowly started swimming toward the ‘boiling' school of fish. It moved ever so slowly toward the center – like a slow blade – huge blade. It was incredible. Then as the shark moved closer and closer to the schooling fish suddenly a seal jumped and as it came down all heck broke out. There was a great deal of commotion then a breach with a giant splash. It was over in about 30 seconds. Then immediately, from out of nowhere, Dolphins appeared and they were everywhere – about 5 pods – with maybe 7 or more to a pod, and they were moving fast; north and south and zig-zagging. I never saw so many Dolphins in one place before today, clearly beautiful but woo hoo.” She watched the Dolphins for an additional 20 minutes but the shark did not return. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Rancho Palos Verdes On July 22, 2013 Dan Salas, captain of the Triumphant, a 90-foot whale watching catamaran from Harbor Breeze Cruises was about ¾ of a mile off of Rancho Palos Verdes reported the following;“It was about 3:30PM and we were off the coast in front of Trump National Golf Course in 300 feet of water just beyond the kelp line. We noticed a little bit of a disturbance next to the boat. We pulled alongside and stopped the boat and there was an 18-foot Great White Shark that bit a 200-pound Sea Lion with one bite completely in half. The shark came out of nowhere in a blink of an eye. In two seconds, it was over. After slicing through the sea lion, the shark then circled the carcass for 30 minutes before gobbling it up. The shark showed no fear, and came right to our 90-foot boat and swam right up to the boat to chase us away from his fresh kill." Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Goleta Beach On July 22, 2013 Brendan Allan was fishing from his kayak one mile from shore near the Goleta Beach pier. It was 1:00 PM and he had been on the water since about 11:00 AM. The sky was slightly overcast with a mild breeze and a calm sea surface. Allan reported the following;“I had launched by kayak at Isla Vista and had paddled to a point about one mile straight out from the Goleta Beach Pier. After rounding the point a seal joined me and followed me for a while. A second seal joined me later while I was fishing. I looked out and 25 – 30 yards from my location a dorsal fin slowly began to rise up out of the water until it was about 16 inches high. The tail finally showed above the water, with the distance from dorsal to tail about 4 – 5 feet. The shark swam parallel to my course briefly then headed in the direction of another kayak about 100 yards from my position. When the shark had traveled about 30 yards it suddenly began thrashing back and forth with the head a tail moving violently from side to side, what I assumed was the animal eating. The shark was a dark grey and appeared to be about 10 feet long. This lasted about 3 seconds and the shark disappeared. I stayed out fishing for another 1.5 hours but did not see the shark again.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
San Gregorio State Beach On July 22, 2013 Jodie, Manuel, and Corrina Gutierrez were walking along San Gregorio State Beach, located South of Half Moon Bay. It was early afternoon and the sky was overcast with the air temperature in the mid-60s Fahrenheit. Jodie reported;“The Sea Gulls were making a very angry squawking sound while they were flying over the ocean and then back to the lagoon area. They would dive into the ocean and then fly off back to the lagoon. We then noticed what we thought were as many as 15 sharks swimming quickly and erratically near the surface. One of the larger shark's came to the surface and we could clearly see the dorsal fin and it was large. The larger shark was a very dark grey and 12 – 15 feet in length with a triangular dorsal fin. The other shark's appeared to be 7 – 10 feet in length and grey in color. At first we thought they were dolphins but I have never seen dolphins do a curvy jump out of the water and their dorsal fin is more rounded.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Catalina Island On July 18, 2013 Jon Council, Lead Field Operator, Marine Animal Rescue (MAR) for Catalina Island, reported the following;“Over the course of the past two weeks we have had three separate reports of sea lions which have sustained injuries caused by what could be a young adult shark, species unknown at this time but there is a high probability it may be a White or Mako. The most recent attack on a seal was July 18, 2013. The injured sea lions have hauled out on the beaches surrounding the West end of the island or Two Harbors. I am simply passing along information which I feel is essential to making informed and responsible decisions.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Refugio State Beach On July 16, 2013 Cooper Hamilton reported the following to Peter Howorth of the Santa Barbara Marine Mammal Center;“At about 7:00PM, I was free-diving 200 – 300 yards east of the west point of Refugio and about 100 yards from two diving companions. The sky was clear with air and water temperatures in the mid and low 60s Fahrenheit. There was a mild breeze. I speared a lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus), in about 30 feet of water just outside the kelp over a sandy bottom. I pulled it in and was holding it in my hand when a White Shark, about 12 feet long, swam up and grabbed the lingcod. We struggled for a few seconds before the shark pulled the fish out of my hand and swam off. I surfaced and swam to a nearby kelp canopy where I remained for several minutes before going ashore. I did not see the shark again.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Guadalupe Dunes On July 16, 2013 the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management issued the following advisory;“There was a confirmed sighting that took place on 7/16/13 at 11:25am by a local surfer at Guadalupe Dunes (located in northern Santa Barbara County). A 10 foot Great White Shark was reportedly seen at the south end of the parking lot in the breaking waves at around six feet of water. This goes along with other unconfirmed reports from earlier that day and the day before as well. No aggressive behavior has been reported. Santa Barbara County Park Department is posting shark advisory signs until 7/19/13 12:00pm at the County parking lot pending no further incidents. As of 1:30pm on 7/17/13 there have been no further sightings.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Redondo Beach On July 14, 2013 David Ginsburg reported the following; “I believe I observed a white shark off the Redondo Beach Breakwall at around 1:15 pm. While on the homeward leg (MB Pier to Rat Beach) of a prone paddleboard session, a friend and I encountered what appeared to be small white shark, 3 – 4 feet in length, swimming at the surface. We were roughly ~0.5 to 0.75 miles off the Redondo Breakwall. From my perspective, the shark seemed to be slowly swimming in tight circles with its dorsal fin, distinctly rounded rather than coming to a point like many Mako's, clearly present at the surface. The shark was so close, we could have petted it! We each got a good look at the dorsal fin and noticed, just briefly, the animal's distinctive counter-shading, dark top and white bottom. Interestingly, the upper inch or so of the dorsal fin was crimped to one side and reminded me of the dorsal fins of killer whales held in captivity. The encounter lasted less than 45 seconds -- neither paddler nor shark breaking stride the whole time...pretty cool.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On July 10, 2013 KABC-TV in Los Angeles reported the following; “There have been back-to-back shark sightings off El Porto near Manhattan Beach. On Tuesday, a LA County Sheriff's Helicopter observed two large sharks swimming near several surfers. Lifeguards were alerted and responded to the area where the sharks had been seen, but only saw one shark. Surfer Wagner Deberu saw one shark today that he believed was a White Shark about 6 feet in length. The shark was also observed by Beth Koral who exited the area. Troy Campbell said he has seen more sharks in this area in the past two months than ever before. Surface water temperature is 72 degrees Fahrenheit.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On July 9, 2013 the LA Times reported;“Swimmers were cleared from the water off Manhattan Beach on Tuesday evening after a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department helicopter spotted a shark, officials said. The copter circled over an area near the north end of the beach close to El Porto Beach, officials said. Personnel in the aircraft used a public address system to warn people. County lifeguards, however, downplayed the sighting. A lifeguard boat responded to the area and reported seeing a juvenile shark about 4 feet long. 'It was pretty much a nothing deal,' a lifeguard official told media. The official said lifeguards were unable to determine what type of shark was in the water, noting that young sharks are often sighted in that area. The Manhattan Beach Police Department said it received a call of a sighting of three sharks. The animals were believed to be docile, a watch commander said.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee. They were confused and did not und erstand that they needed to answer the motion.
Rockaway Beach, OR On July 3, 2013 Daryl Cutler was surfing at Rockaway Beach, Oregon, a small town in northern Tillamook County. The sky was clear with an estimated air temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The waves were 2 – 3 feet on an incoming tide with a sandy bottom 6 feet deep and comprised of varying sand ridges. Water temperature was about 60 degrees Fahrenheit and visibility more than 6 feet as the bottom was clearly visible from the surface. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Cutler reported;“I had just made it through the breakers and caught movement off to my left. I sat up and saw what I thought was a Sea Lion head, until I took a hard look and saw a dorsal fin and a shape underneath it in the wave. It took a hard turn into the wave and that's when I saw the full shape. It took a quick flick of the tail and was no longer visible. The shark was about 8 feet in length with 10 inches of dorsal fin above water.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Tajiguas Beach On June 27, 2013 Lifeguard Supervisor Officer, Dion Von Der Lieth, reported;“A shark, possibly a Great White, lifted a fisherman's kayak out of the water off Tajiguas Beach, located 2 miles West of Refugio State Beach, causing the waters within a six-mile radius to be closed to recreation for 72 hours. The closed area includes Refugio and El Capitan State beaches. The incident occurred at about 12:30 p.m." On June 29, 2013 Peter Howorth of the Santa Barbara Marine Mammal Center provided the following update;“Anthony Martinez went fishing from his 14-foot kayak on the outer edge of the kelp off Tajiguas, approximately 23 miles west of Santa Barbara. He caught four kelp bass, which he had on a stringer. He was using squid as bait. The stringer was in the water when he fished, while paddling he would pull the stringer into the kayak. The morning started with a slight breeze, which later died to glassy calm. Visibility was several feet on the surface, but murky further down. Martinez was paddling to the east, toward Refugio Beach State Park, when he met up with Robert Goebel, a retired firefighter who was paddling a 10-foot kayak. They were approximately 800 feet offshore in water between 10 and 15 feet deep. Martinez stopped and was about to throw the fish back in when both kayakers heard a splash behind them, followed by a crash. Thinking it may have been a white sea bass jumping, Martinez cast his line toward the splash. He reeled it back in when he saw a fin which he first thought belonged to a dolphin. Moments later, both kayakers clearly saw a white shark about 12 feet in length. Martinez described the top of the shark as dark gray and the side as white. He mentioned that the eye was small and dark. Goebel's description of the shark matched the description provided by Martinez, although Goebel added that the shark's snout was pointed at the tip. The shark rubbed its dorsal fin along one side of Goebel's kayak, lifting it out of the water a bit. Both kayakers said the shark was moving very slowly when it approached the kayaks, almost like a glide. Martinez felt that at one point the shark actually stopped under the kayaks and was looking at them. The shark slowly swam away. Both kayakers paddled into thick kelp, and then quietly paddled to Refugio, where they had left their vehicles. They notified a lifeguard, who in turn notified the park ranger. Beaches from El Capitan to Gaviota were closed to all water activities for 72 hours immediately following the report. No further sightings were made during the 72-hour period.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Santa Cruz On June 6, 2013 ‘Shark Warning' signs appeared at several beaches in the Santa Cruz/Capitola area. California Parks and Recreation Rangers said the warning signs are ‘fake.' An unidentified Park Ranger said,“It wasn't clear who posted the signs or why. The bottom of the notice gave a possible clue. It told surfers to ‘surf Cowells instead.' Cowells is on Santa Cruz's west side; Pleasure Point, where the signs were posted, is on the east side. Apparently in the surfing world, those two surf spots have a long time rivalry. It could also have been an attempt to get the some of the surfers to leave Pleasure Point and head to Cowell, but it didn't work as surfers breezed past the signs for the morning surf. The signs listed three Great White Shark attacks that allegedly happened at Capitola Beach, Privates Beach and Rockview Beach on Wednesday. Due to the highly aggressive nature of these encounters, it is strongly advised to stay out of the water for 48 hours, the poster read.” Police confirmed that there wasn't even a shark sighting Wednesday. The signs had a California seal in the upper left corner and were marked ‘Public Notice.' Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Huntington Beach On June 4, 2013 KTLA-TV in Los Angeles reported the following;“A group of fishermen may have broken a world record with a huge shark caught off the coast of Huntington Beach. A fisherman named Jason Johnston, from Mesquite, Texas, chartered a boat out of Huntington Beach on Monday. His group hooked a massive Shortfin Mako Shark, Isurus oxyrinchus, about 15 miles offshore. The shark was 13 feet long, 8 feet in girth and weighed 1,325 pounds. It took more than two hours and a quarter-mile of line to reel in the shark, according to Johnston. ‘It's unreal. This thing is definitely a killing machine,' Johnston said.‘Any wrong step and I could have went out of the boat and to the bottom of the ocean,' he said. It was expected to be donated to a research organization for study. As they waited for news on their possible world record, the fishermen planned to head out again on Tuesday for another adventure.” The shark was a female, 25 – 30 years of age based on its length. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Dana Point On May 25, 2013 Kirk Waterman was kayaking 100 – 150 yards from shore. Waterman reported; “I was kayaking from Dana Point to Laguna and had stopped to take pictures of the big swells hitting the rocks at Mussel Cove around 2:00 PM. Out of the corner of my eye I witnessed a dorsal fin, coming at me, it then submerged. It came directly beside me and my guess the shark was approximately 6 feet in length or larger. Do not know what type of shark it was but it was very dark.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Paradise Cove On May 23, 2013 Jay Gillespie was surfing at Paradise Cove Beach in Malibu. It was about 6:00 PM and he had been on the water
Palos Verdes On May 20, 2013 Jennifer Wessels, and an unidentified companion, were paddle boarding 1/3 of a mile from shore near Palos Verdes, between Terranea Resort and Pt. Vicente. It was 10:30 AM and she had been on the water about 2 hours. The sky was clear and there was a mild east breeze with an estimated air temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit. The ocean was smooth with a slight ripple and an estimated temperature of 64 degrees Fahrenheit. There were kelp beds present 400 – 500 yards from the encounter location. Wessels reported;“I was prone paddling from Cabrillo Beach towards Pt. Vicente lighthouse with a friend and encountered the shark just past Terranea Resort (Rancho Palos Verdes). I was knee paddling and my friend was prone, when I noticed the huge grey shark about 30 inches wide, very girthy, and what I estimated to be about 12 – 15 feet long. The shark swam non-aggressively toward me, about 3 feet below and 1 foot to the left of my board. It was light grey. I yelled, 'SHARK! Paddle fast!' and I paddled fast toward the kelp bed in Pelican Cove. We took a break there before paddling back to Cabrillo Beach hugging the coastline and kelp.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Pacific City, OR On May 18, 2013 Hayden Peters was surfing one mile South of Haystack Rock at the “Turn Around”, near Pacific City, Oregon. Mark Marks, White Shark Biologist, interviewed Peters who reported the following;“It was about 8:45 PM and I was 100 meters from shore. Water depth was 8 – 10 feet. I was sitting upright on my board when I observed a ‘boiling of the water's' surface and a large object pass below me. I leaned out to get a better look and saw a White Shark, 10 – 12 feet in length, approaching me. It maneuvered by rolling to one side to get a better look at me, I'm sure. The shark then dove and was not seen again as I headed in to the beach.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Sunset Cliffs On May 18, 2013 Lance Rivas was spearfishing 1 – 1.5 miles from shore in the kelp beds near Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach, San Diego. It was 4:00 PM and he had been in the water about 3 hours. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 68 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The water was 40 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom with a kelp bed nearby. Water visibility was estimated at 20 feet. No marine mammals were observed in the area. He had speared two Sheephead's about 1.5 hours into the dive, placing them in his kayak. Rivas reported;“I was low and slow in the floor approximately 40 feet, I saw silhouette about 15 feet away. It swam up to me in a hurry. I immediately identified it as a shark and not the White Sea Bass I was hoping for, and began swimming calmly for the surface. It followed me about halfway up coming as close as 1 foot away from my spear-tip. The shark was bluish-grey with a somewhat blunt nose and was 6 – 7 feet in length. It checked me out and did not pursue me as I kicked for the surface. I did not observe any unusual behavior of marine fauna but I did note an absence of fish during my encounter.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Linda Mar Beach On May 17, 2013 Lindsey Collins was surfing the South end of Linda Mar Beach (AKA – Pacifica State Beach) in Pacifica. It was 3:30 PM and she had been on the water about 30 minutes. Air and water temperatures were estimated to be 59 and 54 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The water was 20 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom with very limited visibility. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Collins reported;“I was surfing approximately 100 – 150 yards toward the South end of Linda Mar Beach, near the rocky outcropping. I saw a 1.5 – 2 foot high, thin, black object protruding from the water. I turned to paddle in, looking over my shoulder as I did. I could still see the object. I stood on the beach for several minutes, but didn't see the object resurface. I'm not 100% it was a fin- at the time, I was trying to tell myself maybe it was a diver's snorkel, because it looked so thin from my angle. But it was very tall, and I didn't see anything surface again. After about 10 minutes, I went toward the North end of the beach and re-entered the water. My instinct at the time was definitely not dolphin or whale, either a human device of some kind or a shark dorsal fin. Whatever it was, it made me get out of the water quickly and watch.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Carlsbad On May 17, 2013 Kathy Krosner, and her companion Mary, had been surfing the Warm Water Jetty at Carlsbad. They had been on the water about 3.5 hours when they exited. It was about 12:15 PM when they returned to the beach to watch a lone surfer. The sky was clear and there was a brisk wind with air and water temperatures estimated at 70 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The ocean was choppy with very limited visibility to due suspended sand in the water column. The water was 25 – 30 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom. An adult pinniped, possibly a California Sea Lion, was observed in the area prior to the encounter. Kathy reported the following; “My friend Mary and I had just finished surfing, went ashore and dressed and went down to the beach and watched a surfer paddle out through the wash to enter the water. After about 20 minutes I was looking out at the surfer, who was all alone, and saw a solid black fin about 16 inches high protrude above the water about 20 feet from the surfer. It made a beeline toward the surfer at a speed of about 40 miles an hour. I screamed at my friend; 'look, look,…Shark, Shark.' We both stood up and I ran across the sand giving the shark signal to the surfer who was paddling toward shore. Suddenly I heard my friend yell; 'Look, oh my god it breached.' She had seen the shark come out of the water partially with something in its mouth and headed out to deep water. It was grey in color with white around its mouth. When the unknown surfer came in I asked; 'did you see that shark'? He then stated, with a very concerned look, 'I heard a seal scream, I turned around and looked to see a glimpse of a fin. I knew it wasn't a Dolphin so I came in.' He said he then saw me on the beach giving the shark signal my hand on my head and knew he had seen a shark.' The surfer was very shocked. I really thought the guy was going to be attacked, however, after speaking to him it must have been chasing the seal.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
San Clemente On May 16, 2013 Danny P (last name withheld by request) reported the following; “I was surfing today and saw a fairly large shark. I was surfing ‘Cottons' in San Clemente and it was about 2:00 PM. I was paddling back to the lineup after a wave. I sat on my board after I paddled out. Then I saw a 6 – 8 foot shark that was grey in color. I'm fairly sure it was a White Shark. I think it was approximately 80 yards offshore. The water and air temperatures were about 64 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The water was about 20 feet deep. No other marine life was spotted.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Pacific Beach On May 8, 2013 Brandon Beaver, 42, was surfing the Tourmaline surf break at the North end of Pacific Beach, San Diego. He was observed sitting on his surfboard far from the beach. He disappeared from view and the lifeguards were notified by the bystanders. On May 9th an individual walking along the beach near Tourmaline Street spotted the decedents body in the surf. Dr. Craig Nelson, Medical Examiner, San Diego County Coroner's Office, determined the cause of death to be drowning. The shark bites to the victim were all post-mortem with the causal species yet to be determined. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of Brandon Beaver. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Montara State Beach On April 25, 2013 Marc Wakasa reported the following; “I surfed at Montara State Beach early this morning. I saw a whale surface and spout about 5 yards from me, it was cool. I also thought I saw dolphin in a breaking wave about 10 yards out from my location. I have seen many dolphins at Montara and Pacifica in the past. A little later when I got out of the water I noticed a large decapitated sea lion on the beach. The wound seemed relatively new. The rest of the body looked fine and there were no other visible wounds.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Bayocean Peninsula Beach, OR On April 7, 2013 Nikki Valentine reported the following; “At 5:30 PM my friend, Molly Jackson-Nielsen, and I visited the Bayocean Peninsula County Park just North of Cape Meares in Tillamook, Oregon. Bayocean separates Tillamook Bay from the Pacific Ocean. As we were walking on the western side of the peninsula facing the ocean, the tide was going out and we spotted a harbor seal washing ashore. The seal was less than a meter long with a missing head and a large bite in its stomach exposing its intestine. However, the corpse looked fresh and did not smell yet. While I checked for shark teeth in the seal Molly spotted a fin in the outer waves. The only other animals we observed were two seagulls on shore. Molly and I then attempted to push the seal (with large sticks) back out past the waves in order to reunite the shark with its meal in hopes of witnessing a feeding. We did not succeed as the tide was too strong and the water was too cold, however we did observe the fin intermittently for over an hour. It was cloudy, windy and sprinkling and the waves were very choppy. We saw the fin through the waves since there were waves in front of the fin that were blocking it from our sight. We were also surprised by how shallow the fin appeared — we estimated it was in 5 – 8 feet deep water.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Imperial Beach On April 2, 2013 Rudy F. (last name omitted by request) was surfing at Imperial Beach near the south end of Seacoast Drive. It was 5:00PM and he had been on the water about an hour. The sky was clear with a 2 – 4 foot ocean swell. He recorded air and water temperatures of 65 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The water was 6 – 8 feet deep over a sandy ocean floor with 2 – 3 feet of underwater visibility. Rudy reported the following; “I usually go out with a friend but today I decided to go out alone for about an hour with the longboard. Nearly every day of surfing at this location I am able to see marine life either from my house or while in the water surfing and have been very close to both sea lions and dolphins. Today, however, after watching the surf for about 30 minutes prior to going out I saw neither. There were no other surfers at this location, which is not uncommon for the time of day and location due to it being all residential with limited public access and parking. After about an hour of surfing and 4 or 5 pretty good rides, I was laying on my board face down in the lineup. I was about to drift over a wave that would have broke behind me when I saw two dark black triangular-shaped dorsal fins, 18 – 20 inches high, heading in a straight line for me no more than 10 feet away and about 4 – 5 feet apart. The second the wave passed they disappeared. I immediately brought my hands and legs in and laid them across the board and looked around hoping I was mistaken and I would see them surface again only to identify them as dolphins. After about 30 seconds I began to paddle towards the shore. About 20 seconds into paddling a wave broke behind me and I was able to ride whitewash belly down on my board into the shore. Upon reaching the shore I watched the beach for about 30 minutes to see if I could spot them again or any other marine life, I saw nothing. After that I returned to my house and watched from the house for another 30 minutes for a total of one hour, and still saw no sign of any marine life. I have seen dolphins from my house or in the water and they always swam parallel to the shore. I have never seen them swim perpendicular towards or away from the shore. In this particular situation they were coming directly at me. There was no upward and downward arch motion that you see when dolphins swim, it was a straight shot of dorsal fin moving directly over the surface of the water.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Montara State Beach On March 26, 2013 Christopher Moe was walking his dog past the creek at the far North end of Montara State Beach located eight miles North of Half Moon Bay. It was about 5:20 PM with a cloudy sky and a light onshore breeze with an estimated air temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit. There was a slight surface chop creating ideal spring time surfing conditions. Moe reported;“I was observing a large whale and calf swimming inside 150 yards of the beach. They appeared to be very active and were surfacing more than other whales I have observed in the area recently. These were the only whales I had observed at the time of the encounter. I continued watching the whales and noticed that the larger whale was keeping the smaller whale on the inside of it, closest to the beach but just outside of where the waves were peaking/breaking. They appeared to be as close as possible without beaching themselves, just outside the sandbar. They began to surface more and at that time I spotted a large triangular fin just outside the two whales. It happened really quickly and was on the surface for a short moment. I kept watching as the two whales went back under. After about two minutes both whales surfaced again and I noticed the dorsal fin again dart around the two whales in a very "intentional" manner. This was absolutely not a dolphin. It stayed on top of the surface for more than a couple seconds this time. I would estimate the fin to be greater than 1.5 feet high. It moved at the top of the water in a long drawn out curved motion and then disappeared again. I attempted to film afterwards with my phone but the shark did not show itself again. I waited for a couple minutes to see if it would surface again but left to warn the people surfing at the South end of the beach. I did not go surfing after observing the fin. I have been surfing and living in this area now for years and have observed many whales and dolphins and I can only say that this was absolutely a shark fin. In my opinion it appeared to be targeting the calf as a potential meal and the mother, I presume, was fending off the attack by placing her body between the shark and calf.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Calumet Beach On March 24, 2013 Brian W. (name withheld by request) was surfing 100 yards from shore at ‘Sewer Pipes' in Calumet Beach, La Jolla. It was about 5:30PM and he had been on the water 15 – 20 minutes. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the mid to low 60s Fahrenheit, respectively with the sky partly cloudy. The water was about 10 feet deep over a rocky bottom. Brian reported; “When I first paddled out, I noticed something approximately 40 yards further out under the water chasing something. It moved fast enough to displace the water. It lasted for a few seconds and went in every which direction. I didn't think anything of it, since I have seen movements like this before. About 10 minutes later I noticed a seal approximately 100 yards further out pass by heading south. It was swimming at a fast pace jumping in and out of the water. I didn't think anything of it. I have seen seals swim like that before. Approximately 5-to-10 minutes later, I was sitting on my board for approximately 3 minutes waiting for another set as the ocean had gone calm for a few minutes. I saw a wave rolling in 150 yards out. I began paddling north, parallel to shore, but was looking out to sea watching the wave building trying to get into position. It was then a huge grey fin surfaced 20 feet outside, between me and the coming wave. The fin just floated there angled to the north as if it were moving parallel to my movements. I stopped, sat up and remembered thinking to myself holy sh*#! I immediately turned and paddled as hard as I could towards shore to catch the shoulder of the wave that I was originally paddling for. I stood up and looked back but the fin was gone. I got to shore safely and asked some guys sitting on the rocks watching me surf if they saw the fin. It was huge, and stuck up high above the water line. Unfortunately, no one else saw it. I sat on the rocks and the cliff for 15 minutes scanning the ocean never to see the fin again. I came home and ‘Googled' shark fins. After looking at photos of different shark fins, I can for sure say it was definitely a great white fin. I used my arms to resemble the shape and size of the fin then had my girlfriend measure. It's color was medium grey and approximately 24 inches tall and 18 inches wide. I have no idea how big the shark was. There was a surface glare from a setting sun so I could not see a shadow below the surface. I can only assume it was huge since it was the biggest fin I have ever seen. I have seen plenty of sea life while surfing for the past 20 years. I have seen whales up close. I have seen hundreds of dolphins up close. This was a shark guaranteed! It may have eaten that seal that swam by earlier. It was definitely checking me out.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Ocean Beach On March 13, 2013 Nick DeNezzo had been walking along Ocean Beach, San Diego, which lies South of Mission Bay and directly North of Point Loma. It was 1:00 PM with air and water temperatures estimated at 60 and 56 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. DeNezzo reported; “I was standing on the shore observing the waves when a dark object in the water caught my eye. It was about 50 feet from shore. I observed a dorsal fin and the top part of a tail fin protruding from the water and the animal quickly darted in a few small circles, as if it was chasing a fish under the water. The fins were dark, triangular and pointed, and fairly small, and appeared to belong to an animal no larger than about 4 feet long. I've swam with Leopard Sharks, Triakis semifasciata, before and it was clearly different from them and appeared to be actively hunting some sort of fish. It disappeared after about 10 seconds and I did not see it again.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Pacific Beach On March 12, 2013 Eric Anderson was surfing at Pacific Beach located between La Jolla and Mission Beach. It was about 1:00PM and he had been on the water 30 – 40 minutes. The sky was clear with an estimated air temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. There was a 3 – 4 foot swell with the water temperature in the mid-50s Fahrenheit and 6 – 9 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom. Anderson reported; “I observed a seal just outside the lineup which is rather uncommon for the area compared to other beaches in San Diego, but it is the ocean and I thought nothing of it. About a half an hour later, I was paddling back out to the lineup after catching a wave. I was on the inside of the other surfers, and looked to my right and saw a large dorsal anywhere to a foot and a half to two feet or more in height about 20 or so yards outside the break. Ridges in the back of the fin were clear and pronounced. The shark cruised in a steady motion with only the dorsal fin protruding, but near enough to the surface to where you could see the large body underneath. The shadow of the body that I could see was about 15 feet in length. The shark did not stay above the surface for more than 2-4 seconds before it became completely submerged. I immediately paddled towards the beach with calm long powerful strokes in an effort to reach safety quickly, but not to draw attention to myself. The encounter happened so quickly I doubted what I saw, and observed the break for about 10 minutes afterwards. There were no dolphins present and the shark did not make another appearance.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Strands Beach On February 23, 2013 Joel Spinks was surfboard fishing 400 yards from the point at Strands Beach in Dana Point. It was about 12:00 PM and he had been on the water 90 minutes. Air and water temperatures were estimated between 65 – 70 and 55 – 57 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The sky was clear with a moderate breeze creating a slight bump to the ocean surface. Water was 20 – 30 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom adjacent to a reef with visibility 15 – 20 feet. There was a large kelp canopy attached to the nearby reef. No marine mammals were observed in the area. There were an undetermined number of seagulls and pelicans sitting on the ocean surface but none were diving for fish. Spinks reported;“I was surfboard fishing about 50 yards past the surfers, drifting south through patches of kelp, over reef, but inside of the main kelp beds by about 50 to 150 feet. I was trying to get close to some birds sitting on the water just to the South of me and I had just emerged from a patch of giant kelp. I started throwing lures facing Southeast towards some surfers who were on the inside waiting for waves when I noticed a dark shadow move over the sandy bottom towards me from the direction of the surfers. At first I thought it was a big chunk of seaweed drifting in the current but as it got closer I realized it was a shark by its movement and shape, and the fact it was moving against the current. It came straight towards me and veered just to the South a bit as it got closer. It appeared to be close to the bottom and interested in checking me out, so I was looking down at it at an angle the whole time. It cruised by effortlessly in a Northwest direction and continued to deeper water over to a dark patch of reef, then seemed to slowly turn and disappear over the reef. I could not make out any detail or make a positive identification as to what type of shark it was because of the depth it was at. The caudal fin did not appear to move much as it swam. The shark's color was dark grey/bronze as seen from above. It was stout with a large girth compared to its length and the pectoral fins seemed fairly large and stuck out farther than most sharks I've seen. It was about 7 – 8 feet in length. I have been surfboard fishing for approximately 20 years and have seen many sharks. This did not appear to be a leopard shark, soupfin, thresher, horn, or sand shark. My thoughts at the time were that it was a juvenile Great White Shark or possibly even a large angel shark because the pectoral fins stuck out far in comparison of the body length.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Del Mar On February 18, 2013 Josh Rifkin and an unidentified companion were surfing 100 yards from shore near 18 th Street in Del Mar, San Diego County. It was 10:00 AM and he had been on the water 1.5 hours. It was sunny with a mild breeze and an estimated air temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The ocean was glassy with 2 – 3 foot swells and a depth of about 6 feet. A few dolphins had moved through the area about 30 minutes prior to the encounter. Rifkin reported;“I had been surfing with a friend for about an hour and a half between 18th & 19 th Street in Del Mar. My friend had caught a wave in and was about 100 yards south of me. The only other person close by was a SUP about 200 yards to the North and he was paddling back out way on the inside. I was turning to paddle further inside during a lull in the sets to catch one last wave in. As I turned, a large shark, no more than 10 feet from me, exploded out of the surface like a submarine. It emerged with so much power and was travelling horizontally with the surface. I have been surfing for 25 years and know the movement of a dolphin. The fin was clearly triangular at least 12 inches in height and the portion of the grey/bronze body that was above the surface was about 6 – 7 feet from back to front. It happened so fast I'm not sure I saw the caudal fin. As I looked East from the lineup it was traveling towards the beach and to the South at high speed. It must have just made a dart for another fish and I happened to be there. At least that was what I was hoping as I made my way for the beach. The shark never attacked, but it flew by at an uncomfortable distance. Aside from seeing the body above the water it was the force and displacement of the water that has me convinced it was much larger than any dolphin. Nothing ever surfaced again and I stood on the beach looking to see if there were any dolphins to rule out what I saw. After 10 minutes I left the beach.“ Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Moss Landing State Beach On February 14, 2013 Larry Parsons, Santa Cruz Sentinel, reported the following;“Veteran surfer Mark Hull, age 60, watched a Great White Shark attack a California Sea Lion about 150 yards from a dozen surfers at Moss Landing State Beach at about 10:00AM. He was checking the surf line a quarter mile north of the harbor entrance when he saw a big splash about 100 yards offshore. At first, he thought a pelican had dived, but then gulls flocked to the site and seconds later, he saw a shark, 10 – 12 feet in length, lift a California Sea Lion out of the water, shaking it violently. Another surfer had just gotten out of the water near the spot where the shark and gulls were feeding. Hull told him about what was going on and handed him binoculars. The other surfer said he had seen a Sea Lion swim by when he was in the water. Word of the attack quickly spread along the beach causing surfers to exit the water. Hull said there was no doubt the shark was a Great White.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Dana Point On February 13, 2013 Tony West and his son were surfing in front of the river jetty at Dana Point. It was 5:00 PM and they had been on the water about 3 hours. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the upper 50s Fahrenheit. It was sunny with a calm ocean and surf 1 – 2 feet. The water was 6 – 8 feet deep over a reef with limited water visibility. No marine mammals were observed in the area. West reported;“My son and I were about 5 feet apart when he spotted the shark's dorsal fin. He said; ‘Look a shark' and pointed to an area about 30 yards from our location. I looked but didn't see anything. Then he said; ‘There it is, it's coming this way.' Again I looked but still didn't see it and looked back at him. He said; ‘Right there.' I turned and its dorsal fin was about 10 yards from our location. I only saw the one fin, which was about 8 – 10 inches high. It was gray and pointed on top appeared to me to be white on one side and gray on the other. I only got a short look before I said; ‘Lie down, get your feet up.' We slowly paddle for shore. We caught the next wave in. There were a few paddle boarders out at the time about 40 – 50 yards north of us. I didn't think much of it as paddle boarders have told me in the past they see sharks out there often. I don't think it was in attack mode just coming by to check us out. There was someone fishing at the time from the river jetty shore. I did not see the body, but it was definitely a shark.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Strands Beach On February 6, 2013 Cody Casey, Sam Mueller, and an unidentified friend, were surfing 50 yards from shore at Strands Beach, Orange County. It was 11:00AM and they had been on the water about 90 minutes. There was intermittent sunshine with air and water temperatures estimated at 65 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The ocean was calm at low tide with more than 10 feet of water visibility as the rocky-grassy reef below could be seen clearly from the surface. Kelp patties are about 300 yards from shore and extend about one-half mile. No marine mammals or unusual behavior of fish were observed prior to the encounter. Casey reported;“I was sitting out in the lineup waiting for a set to come in with my two friends. I was about 10 – 15 feet farther out then they were and we were just sitting on our boards.The visibility was pretty good so I was checking out the clear ocean floor underneath me. I looked down at the right side of my board and just underneath me, swimming very slowly, was a 7 – 8 foot long, and 2 – 3 foot wide, grayish shark. I freaked out and laid flat on my board and started paddling really hard towards shore. Once I had gotten a little closer to shore the shark changed direction and headed toward me in an aggressive manor. Its pointed sharp fin slowly came out of the water like in a classic jaws movie. Right when a wave was coming I saw about 15 or so dolphins coming through the side of the wave. Usually they catch waves in this area and ride the waves but this time I could see them swimming by it like they were chasing the shark off. When I was in knee deep water and everyone was close to shore, we saw the dolphins headed away from the beach out towards the kelp patties. Usually they go parallel to the coast.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Sacramento On February 6, 2013 the California Fish and Game Commission unanimously voted to advance the candidacy of the most feared predator in the ocean the Great White Shark. They said that it should be studied as a potential endangered species, which means during a one-year study review it will receive the same protections it would if it were listed as endangered. Great White Sharks are internationally protected and already can't be targeted for catch. During the review, the sharks will receive even more safeguards, and the immediate effect will be a ban on incidental takes by net fishermen, who opposed the review. Their population is estimated between 220 and 350 statewide.
Cayucos On January 30, 2013 Ryan Hulbert reported the following;“My friend, Matt Fawcett, and I met this morning for a surf session in Cayucos. The location is the southernmost end of Studio Drive, just south of the town of Cayucos, San Luis Obispo County, California. My friend and I were watching the waves at around 8:30a.m. from the top of the staircase, which is 75 – 100 yards from the lineup. Everyone I know calls the surf spot Chanies, or Chaney Avenue, since the cross street across the highway is Chaney Avenue. In any case, we were standing there discussing surf locations and conditions when I saw about a 5 foot set wave roll through. Through the wave I could see an animal that looked like a shark swimming parallel to the shore, but not with the wave towards the shore, like dolphins normally do. It was 20 – 25 yards from shore. This particular spot has many dolphins that frequently swim through the lineup normally, and so my first thought was that this was just a large dolphin. But when I saw this animal, it looked different than a dolphin, with a lighter underbody, light grey maybe and darker upper, like a White Shark. But I wasn't convinced it was a shark yet. After the wave passed my friend pointed out a harbor seal swimming in the lineup only 20 yards south from where the wave just broke and in a direct line of the shark's path. Within a few seconds, there was a large splash and commotion, and the seal was hopping in and out of the water erratically and frantically. The attack happened so fast that we didn't even know what happened. The seal disappeared under the surface and a moment later the shark's head broke the surface with the seal in its mouth and was thrashing and whipping it back and forth violently. It should also be noted that no marine life was observed anywhere in the area, both before and after the attack. Both Matt and I saw the attack. One thing that freaked me out was that a standup paddle boarder was out surfing only about 50 yards from the attack. We tried to signal him but he didn't respond. We decided not to surf and went home. It was definitely the scariest thing I have seen yet and I have surfed here for about 15 years.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Big Sur On January 21, 2013 Josh Langston was bodyboarding near Willow Creek at Big Sur, just South of Carmel and Monterey Bay. It was 8:00 AM and he had been on the water about 20 minutes. The sky was clear with air and water temperatures estimated at 54 and 52 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The water was 10 – 15 feet deep over a rocky reef with scattered bull kelp plants and poor water visibility due to the heavy surf, which was running 10 – 15 feet. A large amount of bull kelp was floating free in the surf zone. A single Elephant Seal , Mirounga angustirostris , was observed on the beach. Langston reported;“There were two surfers about 50 yards from my location, which after paddling out from shore was about 100 yards from the beach. While resting just beyond the kelp bed, something moving at the surface about 25 feet away suddenly caught my eye. It was a dorsal fin that appeared to be 18 – 24 inches high. It moved slowly across the surface for about 3 seconds or so then submerged. I have been surfing for more than 20 years and I can definitely say it was not a dolphin. The two surfers and I stayed out for more than an hour before going in.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Pleasure Point On January 19, 2013 Rikard Kjellberg was surfing at Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz County. It was 9:00 AM and he had been on the water about one hour. It was sunny with air and water temperatures estimated at 55 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The ocean was calm with 6 foot swells over a rocky reef in 10 feet of water. There were two Southern Sea Otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) , also known as California Sea Otters, in the area. Kiellberg reported; “I observed what appeared to be a Great White Shark swimming near me about 100 feet from shore. It was 12 – 15 feet in length and exposed its side and I could see its upper and lower body. The upper was grey with the lower white.” Several additional sightings were reported to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff. Warnings were posted at Pleasure Point and several additional locations. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Chatsworth On January 16, 2013 the Shark Research Committee published its Press Release for last year.
Pacific Coast Shark Attacks During 2012
There were 8 authenticated unprovoked shark attacks reported from the Pacific Coast of North America during 2012, which includes 1 fatal attack. There were 7 attacks, including the fatal case, recorded from California and 1 from Oregon. The attacks were distributed in the following months; January (1), May (2), July (2) and October (3). There were 2 shark attacks reported south of the southern Santa Barbara County line, with the remaining 5 attacks from Santa Barbara County north. The single Oregon shark attack occurred near Lincoln City. Activities of the victims were; 4 Surfing (1 fatal), 2 Kayaking, 1 Windsurfing and 1 Paddle boarding. The Great White Shark, Carcharodon carcharias, was positively identified or highly suspect in all 8 of the attacks.
The publication “Shark Attacks of the Twentieth Century” authenticated 108 unprovoked shark attacks from the Pacific Coast between 1900 and 1999. The Great White Shark was implicated in 94 (87%) of the 108 confirmed attacks with an annual average of slightly more than one shark attack per year. The 8 cases reported for 2012 brings the total number of unprovoked shark attacks occurring along the Pacific Coast during the 21st Century to 72. This is ‘six times' the Twentieth Century annual average of slightly more than 1 shark attack per year. The Great White Shark was positively identified or highly suspect in 63 (88%) of the 72 attacks recorded during the 21st Century. From 2000 to the present, 35 (49%) of the 72 confirmed shark attacks occurred during the three month period of August (10), September (9), and October (16). There have been 180 authenticated unprovoked shark attacks reported from the Pacific Coast of North America from 1900 to 2012. The Great White Shark was positively identified or highly suspect in 157 (87%) of the 180 cases. There were 8 fatal shark attacks confirmed from 1900 to 1999 and 5 fatal attacks reported from 2000 to 2012. The 13 fatal attacks represent 7% of the 180 total cases.
Victim activity for the 72 shark attacks reported from the Pacific Coast since 2000 are distributed in the following ocean user groups; surfers 48 (67%) of the documented attacks, with 5 swimmers (7%), 8 kayakers (11%), 4 divers (6%), 4 paddle boarders (6%), 1 windsurfer (1%), 1 fishing (1%), and 1 boogie boarder (1%). The number of shark-bitten marine mammals reported in 2012 was greater than the prior year, especially in Santa Barbara County. The location and time of year, would suggest an increase in the number of Great White Sharks utilizing those specific areas. However, this might not be the result of an increase in their population but rather locations being targeted by sharks migrating along the Pacific Coast. The Shark Research Committee will continue to closely monitor these activities.
Malibu On January 8, 2013 Paul Vandervort reported the following; “At approximately 3:10 PM I observed a shark fin in shallow water about 1 mile South of Malibu Pier. It was dark grey in color and shaped like a Great White Shark fin not a dolphin. The movement was slow and steady unlike a dolphin.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.