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Posted by dimitrios on September 19, 2005 at 18:52:56:

http://sharkresearchcommittee.com/pacific_coast_shark_news.htm

The following reports for 2005 have been provided as a public service. They are intended to inform our visitors of current shark activities along the Pacific Coast of North America. To review Pacific Coast Shark News for 2003 and 2004 click here.

La Jolla — On September 2, 2005 Suzanne Grue of Bainbridge Island, Washington, was visiting San Diego and had stopped at the Children’s Pool in La Jolla. At 3:00 PM she was standing at the end of the breakwater path with a group of visitors from Italy. The sky was clear and water visibility was excellent. There was an undetermined number of pinnipeds in the water. Grue recounted; “I saw what appeared to be a light colored shark, about 12 feet long, swim swiftly through the breakwater toward the shore. A group of Italian speaking tourists were the only others there at the moment, but one yelled what sounded like 'shark' and pointed. The walkway is about 8 feet above the water and the shark was very shallow and we could clearly see it moving swiftly toward the shore and numerous seals that were in the water. I was very surprised since as a native Californian, I had never seen anything like it in the water before, but because the others there only spoke Italian, I somewhat doubted what I felt I had just seen, and didn't say anything to the lifeguards. It wasn't until I returned to my mother's that I learned about the suspected seal bite from a shark that occurred two days earlier at the same spot. Thought this report might help to confirm that there certainly does appear to be a shark in the area of the Children's Pool in La Jolla, although I returned three more times in the next two days without seeing it again. I have since returned to my home in Washington State.” Update — Photographs of the bite to the seal were provided by John Smith of the Casa Beach Seals Group on September 3, 2005. They clearly implicated a White Shark, 12 – 14 feet in length, as the causal species. Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Ocean Beach — On September 2, 2005 Michael Brill was surfing near the Pump station at Sloat Avenue, Ocean Beach. It was about 11:45 AM. He reported the following; “It was crumbly junky and maybe 2-4 feet and I was completely alone. I got a new egg I was excited to ride it at the tail end of this first NW swell. At about 12:35 PM, a sea lion telescoped his head over 2 ft from the water. He was about 50 yards inside of me really close to the beach. I thought its behavior was strange. I was maybe 75-100 yards out, waiting for sets. A minute later 2 dolphins with long thin black fins swam by heading South. They broke the surface slightly so that I could see their backs. I looked back at the sea lion and he was still there telescoped out of the water strangely high up. I turned back West and saw a gray fin about 12 inches long break the water. It was 30 feet away. I never saw the back of the animal. This fin was completely different from the dolphins in width and color. It was slightly wider than the dolphins' fin and gray. The animal also was swimming more straight than the dolphins. I immediately scrambled for shore in the slop and climbed to the top of the cliff and a woman walked up explaining she was thankful I started paddling in. I couldn't really look at her as I was trying to comprehend what I had seen and tried to locate it again from the cliff, but saw nothing. She said she had seen the sea lions, dolphins, and she saw the gray fin. She was in her late 40's and I never got a name. It was 12:44 PM when I checked the time back at my car.” Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. There have been five encounters at this location in less than a month. Please report any sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

La Jolla — On August 31, 2005, John Smith of the Casa Beach Seals Group reported City of San Diego lifeguards found a harbor seal at the Children’s Pool public beach in La Jolla, California which had been attacked recently by a White Shark. The harbor seal was approximately four feet in length and had two rows of teeth scars on the seal's left side and more scars on the ventral side of the animal. The two rows of teeth scars were from teeth of the upper jaw and the scars on the ventral side were from the lower jaw. The length of the tooth rows appeared to be approximately two feet. Some of the teeth scars were large with significant open wounds on the seal. Sea World had been contacted with regard to a rescue of the injured harbor seal. In the San Diego area, the only shark feeding on pinnipeds are White Sharks. The La Jolla White Shark Project has been keeping records of White Shark sightings and incidents in the La Jolla area and this will be added to the list. In June of 2003, an injured harbor seal pup was rescued at the Children’s Pool by Sea World and it was determined that the seal pup had been attacked by a White Shark. It is likely that the harbor seal concentration at the Children’s Pool in La Jolla is attracting the sharks to the recreational waters off La Jolla. Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Ocean Beach — On August 27, 2005 Sebastian Toomey and a companion were surfing at Ocean Beach, San Francisco. It was 10:30 AM and the sky was overcast with a temperature in the mid-60s. The water was about 8 feet deep with 5 – 8 feet of visibility and a sandy ocean bottom. The surf was small and the water temperature in the low 60s. Toomey recalled; “My friend and I were about 50 – 75 yards from shore just south of Fulton St., in front of the Beach Chalet. We'd been in the water a little over an hour when I saw a large, light gray dorsal fin and large expanse of back surface about 60 yards out, moving south. At first I thought it might be a dolphin. A few minutes later my friend and I both saw it surface again, this time within about 40 yards from our location, moving slowly south. The fin was large – perhaps 2 feet in height, light gray/white and triangular shaped. We caught a last wave in a few minutes later and finished our session without seeing the shark again. I did not see the shark up close, thankfully, but judging from the size of its dorsal fin and the expanse of back, it was quite large.” Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Ventura Point — On August 26, 2005 Brad Runge and a companion were surfing at Ventura Point near Stables break and the mouth of the Ventura River. At 9:00 AM they had been in the water about one hour. The ocean was calm and there was a light breeze under a sunny sky. Runge recounted; “My friend and I were sitting at the break zone waiting for a wave when I observed a shark breach half way out of the water and lunge backwards approximately 80 yards away. Its belly was stark white and was definitely the shape of a shark. We immediately got out of the water and watched from the beach. We then observed a dark dorsal fin and water splashing sideways from what appeared to be its tail. We continued to watch from the beach but did not see it again.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Bolsa Chica State Beach — On August 25, 2005 Casey Annis was at Bolsa Chica State Beach near Lifeguard Tower # 18. It was 7:00 AM; the sky was overcast and the sea glassy with a 2 – 3 foot swell. He observed what appeared to be an adult seal (species undetermined) that had washed ashore after having been decapitated. This type of injury is usually the result of a predatory attack by a White Shark. Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Will Rogers State Beach — On August 22, 2005, Chad Serrano and a companion were surfing and swimming at Will Rogers State Beach just south of Lifeguard Station # 18. It was about 1:30 PM and they had been in the water 15 minutes. The sky was clear and the sea calm with small surf. A pod of dolphins, which appeared to be feeding, were observed about 100 yards from the beach. Serrano recalled; “The surf was small and we decided to go ashore. I noticed what appeared to be one or two small sharks about 10 yards from the beach, but when the breaking waves receded I could see at least 20 sharks, 4 – 5 feet in length and dark grey or black in color. They were in knee-deep water with their dorsal fins and tails exposed. I would estimate the height of the dorsal fins at about 6 inches and sharply triangular in shape. My friend and I decided to go ashore. The swarm of small sharks went back and forth in the water for about an hour, right at the shoreline. Then suddenly they seemed to go away. It was now about 2:30 PM and I decided to surf a little before going home. While walking out I was bumped very firmly on my leg by one of the sharks. I was in water just over knee-deep. I got out of the water quickly and did not go back in.” Although it is not possible to positively identify the species of sharks observed in this encounter; the shark's size, shape of their dorsal fins, and coloration is suggestive of juvenile White Sharks, which are known to frequent this location during grunion spawns. It is noteworthy that this day was the first of a new grunion spawn. Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Ocean Beach — On August 10, 2005 Ren Volpe and a friend were surfing Ocean Beach, slightly North of Sloat Blvd., San Francisco. It was foggy and windy with choppy sea conditions. Volpe recounted; “I was surfing with a friend at Sloat, Ocean Beach. It was 11:45 and we had been in the water about 45 minutes. Surf conditions were lousy: the wind had picked up and the waves were only waist high. I saw a fin out of the corner of my eye, and thought, ‘it's only a dolphin.’ I turned around to get a better look and saw a grey fin, about 50-60 yards away, moving through the water. I have seen many dolphins while surfing, and this fin was not a dolphin fin. I shouted to my friend and we quickly paddled back to the beach.” This is the fifth encounter at this location in 12 days. Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Ocean Beach — On August 9, 2005 Prashant Samant and a friend were surfing Ocean Beach, San Francisco. It was a pleasant day with little wind and a calm sea with 1-2 foot swells. They had been in the water about two hours and it was between 2 and 3 PM. Samant recalled; “We were 30-40 feet from the shore when I looked behind us and spotted the shark. The shark was grey, about 10 feet in length, and I could see its dorsal fin and tail about 15 feet behind us. We quickly paddled to shore. We looked back into the water form the beach and noticed it moving closer to the beach.” Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Laguna Beach — On August 7, 2005, Jim Netzer was paddle boarding ½ to 1 mile off the South end of Main Beach in Laguna, in front of the Hotel Laguna. It was 9:30 AM and he had been on the water for 1.5 hours. The sky was overcast and the sea glassy. Netzer recounted; “I was paddling from Newport to Laguna on a paddleboard. I was heading south about 1/2 to 1 mile off the beach at the south end of Main Beach, in front of Hotel Laguna. The shark came up on my right side, starboard from the off shore or open sea. It surfaced 10 to 12 feet away and came at my board. It made a sharp 180-degree turn and as it turned its hind quarters came out of the water. Its tail came out of the water and it splashed me as it turned to swim away. I paddled back to Newport and never saw it again. The shark was grey in color and 4 to 6 feet in length.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Ocean Beach — On August 7, 2005 Luis Mauricio and a companion were surfing at Ocean Beach, San Francisco. It was foggy with a light wind. At 9:00 AM they were about 50 yards from the beach. Mauricio recalled: “We were surfing at Ocean Beach near the drain (Lincoln St) in water 4 to 8 feet deep. A harbor seal surfaced twice within 10 yards of our position. About 20 minutes later I noticed that there was a large flock of pelicans, maybe some seagulls too, feeding near a sandbar approximately 25 yards north of our position. After catching a brief glimpse of what I thought was a fin, I watched the area where the birds were feeding for 2 to 3 minutes before seeing the shark slowly break the surface and heading straight in my direction. We all immediately paddled and caught waves in. From the beach we observed the shark's silhouette swimming through the waves where we had just been surfing. The shark was dark grey, 10 to 15 feet in length with a dorsal fin 1.5 to 2 feet high. It appeared to be at least 2 feet wide. We never determined what the birds had been feeding upon.” Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Ocean Beach — On August 5, 2005 Stephen Lando and his nephew were surfing Ocean Beach near Ortega. There was a dense fog with little or no wind. The surf was waist high and the sea surface glassy. The water was about 8 feet deep with a sandy bottom, a temperature in the mid-50s, and only a few feet of visibility. Lando recounted; “My nephew and I had been surfing at Ocean Beach for about 1 hour. It was about 8:10 PM and we had maintained our same position in the water, just south of Ortega, for about 1/2 hour. There were no other surfers in the water and only a handful of fishermen north of us. The air was relatively still and the fog was very thick making the homes on the Great Highway difficult to see. We were approximately 60 to 70 yards from shore in about eight feet of water. The junky conditions had cleaned up and glassy waist high waves were coming through. My nephew had just caught a wave which he rode into waist deep water; I was sitting on my board facing south. I looked west to check for waves; over my right shoulder I could see there was some movement in the water. I expected to see a dolphin. Instead, when I turned, I saw a medium grey colored rectangular shaped fin which came to a point and 15 to 18 inches in height. It was approximately 25 to 30 yards from my position. I immediately knew that it was a shark and not a dolphin. It was moving slowly south and rose so that I could see a portion of its grey back and then it submerged beneath the water's surface. I looked back towards my nephew who was still in waist deep water; he had seen a large dark object moving below the water's surface in my vicinity. I shouted at him to stay put because there was a shark in the water. I tried to spot the shark again but didn't see anything. There were no waves coming, so I promptly paddled for shore. Once there, I looked for the shark again but I didn't see anything.” Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Pidgeon Point Lighthouse — On August 2, 2005, Thomas Courtney was visiting the Pidgeon Point Lighthouse with his family and several friends. The sky was overcast and there was a moderate breeze from the northwest. At 11:45 AM he observed a disturbance in the water about 150 yards from shore and due south-southeast from the lighthouse. A large shark was feeding on what appeared to be a Elephant Seal. Courtney reported; “I first spotted the event by noticing a semicircular splash of the tail fin. We also saw the head come out of the water several times. The shark was gray with a white underbelly. The dorsal fin was larger than the birds landing around the event, I estimate 3 feet high. I was too far to estimate length accurately, but it was large. Very actively feeding as it appeared to be tearing up the seal. The event was witnessed by several other people visiting Pidgeon Point Lighthouse, including my family members and friends. I believe this was a Great White Shark.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Ocean Beach — On July 30, 2005 Elizabeth Silva was surfing Ocean Beach, San Francisco near the Sloat Blvd. break right off the bathrooms. It was 11 AM and she had been in the water about 5 minutes. There was a light fog that was beginning to clear with the surf 2-5 feet and “pretty clean lines.” The ocean floor is sandy at this location and about 8 feet deep. Elizabeth recalled; “I was surfing at Sloat, Ocean Beach, with 3 other male surfers. I was paddling for a wave, looked behind me to see if anyone else was going, and saw the fin behind the wave, so I pulled out of the wave, that is when I realized the other 3 men were yelling shark and paddling in. I followed them in. They got to the beach first and said that they saw the entire body surface and swim slowly south for a few seconds before submerging. We did not see it again. Not a great way to spend my birthday!” Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Solana Beach — On July 28, 2005 John A. was surfing 200 – 300 feet from shore, south of 15th Street, at Solana Beach located between Encinitas and Del Mar, north of San Diego. At 8:30 AM the sky was clear and he had been in the water about one hour. The sea was calm with water visibility about 10 feet. John recalled; “As I was sitting on my surfboard, I saw a shark breach completely out of the water. I only saw the belly of the shark, which was white. The shark was about 500 feet away from me, therefore it was hard to gauge its size, however, I estimate it to be 10 – 15 feet. The shark breached almost vertically, coming completely out of the water. I immediately paddled over to the nearest person in the water (who was on a kayak) and told him what I had seen. He said he had not seen it and that it was probably a dolphin. Since my line of site showed me the shark in plan view, I had a perfect outline and easily discerned that it was a large shark. I am not sure of the species. I caught the next wave in and watched from the shore for about 15 minutes but did not see anything more. There was a small boat with two fishermen about 1000 feet away from the shore almost in a direct line of sight between the shark and me.” Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Del Mar — On July 24, 2005 Steve Simpson and a friend were surfing at Del Mar just south of 15th Street, about 15 miles North of San Diego. They were 150 yards from shore in water 8 – 10 feet deep with 15 – 20 feet of visibility and a sandy ocean floor. At 2:30 PM the sky was clear and they had been in the water about one hour. There were a lot of ‘baitfish’ in the area stirring up the water with calm winds and a 3 – 4 foot surf. Simpson recalled; “My girlfriend and I were in the water just south of 15th street. There were a lot of people in the water. I was paddling out after a wave and noticed a fin, about 5 inches high, pop out of the water. My girlfriend saw a shadow in the water a couple minutes later. We decided to head in for a bit and I told the people around me but they didn't really believe me. About 20 minutes later I paddled back out and saw some schooling fish ‘zigzagging’ and breaking the water surface causing a stir. While I was observing the schooling fish a 6-7 foot shark swim below me. It looked to be a juvenile great white by the torpedo shape and coloring. I continued to surf but was cautious the rest of the day. I also warned others around me. My co-worker told me that his girlfriend had seen a shark of the same size in the exact same spot a week prior.” Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Dunes State Beach — On July 23, 2005 Andrew Spinardi was surfing at Dunes State Beach, Half Moon Bay. It was 8:30 PM and he had been in the water about one hour. There was a heavy fog and the sea was calm and glassy with a sandy ocean bottom that was 15 feet deep. Water temperature was in the upper 50s with visibility limited to less than 3 feet. Spinardi recalled; “There were 3 seals near me and at one time in between me and the shore. That might have possibly been a warning. I was paddling out towards an incoming set when I saw a large dark grey triangular fin, approximately 2-2.5 feet out of the water. It was moving slowly towards my position. I turned around and paddled as fast as I could, legs kicking, towards shore. I caught a wave and turned around to see the fin where I had been just previously. It was still moving slowly and then it submerged after a few seconds.” Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Montara — On July 18, 2005 Dan Mc Dunn and a friend were surfing Montara between Half Moon Bay and Pacifica. They were about 50 yards from shore, over a sandy ocean floor with a depth of 15 feet and water visibility of 6-8 feet. It was 6:30 PM and they had been in the water about one hour. The sky was cloudy and the sea glassy with 3-4 foot waves. Mc Dunn recounted; “I was sitting in the lineup with my buddy and we were the only 2 guys out at that peak. We were waiting on a set telling stories and facing the open ocean. The shark came from my right, got near enough to the surface to stir the water substantially, which is what got my attention. I saw its body as it made a U-turn right next to me. My buddy saw the stir in the water and I turned to him and said ‘that was a BIG FISH.’ At this point everything got real slow and we turned our boards and began paddling in to shore. As I began paddling in the shark swam from behind me and passed under me on my left. This was my best look at it and what gave me the ability to gauge its size. It was quite a bit larger than my 9'6" board. Once it passed, we were far enough inside to pick up the breaking set waves to make it quickly into shore. The shark did not break the surface of the water but came within a few feet of me on two occasions. Using my longboard as a gauge I would put the shark at 12 to 15 feet in length and a couple feet wide. The silhouette appeared brown, which I think was a function of the clouds, water color and depth of the shark. I have been surfing for 8 years and have seen all kinds of marine life; seals, sea lions, rays, jellyfish, and even a whale within a few board lengths from me. I have been out by myself in similar conditions and have gotten ‘sharky’ feelings and I'm sure have had hallucinations of a few fins that have scared me out of the water. However, this was definitely no hallucination and was one of the most frightening experiences I have had in the water. You may find it interesting that before we even paddled out I was feeling a little 'sharky.' The entire session I felt this presence. I avoided saying anything to my buddy as I didn't want to ruin his session due to what I felt at the time was senseless paranoia. In the future, I think I will listen to those vibes. There were 2 other guys out 100 yards or so down the beach. We waved them in and described the encounter. They sat on the beach for 20 minutes and then headed back out. We also told 2 guys in the parking lot who, after much deliberation, also decided to go out.” Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Linda Mar Beach — On July 16, 2005, Peter Outzen and a friend were surfing at Linda Mar Beach near Pacifica. The sky was partly cloudy and there was an increasing westerly wind. It was 6:00 PM and they had been in the water about 1.5 hours. There were white caps on the sea surface with a 3-4 foot surf. The water was 6-10 feet deep with numerous sandbars and visibility of 1-2 feet. Two pinnipeds were observed inside the lineup about 20 minutes before the encounter. Outzen recounted; “I was surfing with a friend at Linda Mar and we were getting to the point where we were ready to go in so we were waiting for the next set of waves to take one in. During this lull I was scanning the horizon looking for waves when I saw the shark moving very fast. It suddenly jumped completely out of the water approximately 10 yards from my position on the outside of the lineup. It cleared the surface of the water by about a foot and was flipping its body in a swimming motion in the air before splashing back down. The shark's belly and side fins were facing me as it came out of the water and it twisted in the air to land on its left side giving me a good view of its dorsal fin and tail. It was not a very big shark, probably a little over six feet with a dorsal fin of about 10 inches and I am guessing that it was a juvenile. One other guy saw this as well and we both looked at each other and said 'big fish' simultaneously. I told my buddy who said he saw the splash but didn't see the shark itself and we decided to paddle in. I have been surfing for more than ten years and this is the first time I have ever seen a shark. It was one of the most powerful and scary-beautiful things that I have ever seen.” Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Huntington Beach — On July 16, 2005 David Orozco was surfing on the North side of the pier at Huntington Beach, located about 35 miles south of Los Angeles. It was 11:00 AM and he had been in the water about 4 hours. The sky was overcast with the air temperature in the mid-80s. The water was about 5 feet deep with poor visibility. The waves were running about 5 feet. Orozco recounted; “I had decided to stay in closer to shore at a safe depth since I’m a beginner. I started to jump on my board when it felt like I had kicked something hard, rubbery and muscular. As I looked around no one was closer to me than 20 feet. I then looked in the water and saw a huge dark grey shadow. I quickly paddled and rode a wave to shore. The funny thing is the whole time out I had a weird feeling in my stomach something was going to happen.” Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Pismo Beach — On July 14, 2005, at 11:00 PM, Ray Lagace was standing at the end of the Pismo Beach Pier, which is about 150 yards from the beach. He had gone to the pier to watch the waves and see if anyone was fishing. There were 2 or 3 sea otters near the pier. Lagace reported, “I could see the otters when they were floating on their back with either the moonlight from the west shining on them or when they passed through the lights from the shoreline you could see their silhouette. At about 12:50 AM a young boy fishing with his family caught a small Leopard Shark. I helped him remove the hook and throw the shark back into the water. At 1:20 AM a Great White partially breached no more than 20 yards off the north side of the pier, then just rolled over onto its left side and disappeared. I could see clearly the white underbelly and black jagged demarcation line along the side of the body. I continued to watch the surface of the water and at 2:10 AM it fully breached about 30 – 40 yards off the NW corner of the pier and left a lot of foam after the big splash. It was a very large Great White, 15 – 18 feet in length! I could easily identify the species of shark. The light at the end of the pier lit up both areas where the shark breached, which also aided in my identification. Bryan Cox, a police officer from Pismo Beach, was parked at the end of the pier just before the second breach and when he heard me scream out loud he came running out of his vehicle with a large flashlight. We stayed there in the same spot hoping to see the shark again but no such luck. We stayed until after 3 a.m. There was also a family from Fresno there with me and they witnessed the first beach. Only their 12 year old son witnessed the second breach by the shark.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Deer Creek — On July 12, 2005 Jay Gillespie and a companion were surfing Deer Creek near the Ventura/Los Angeles County line. It was overcast with a mild NNE breeze and an air temperature in the mid-60s. The sea was glassy smooth with 2-3 feet of water visibility and a depth of 5-6 feet with a deep channel on the North side of the sand bar. It was 8:00 PM and they had been in the water for 2 hours. There were large clusters of kelp, 4-6 feet in diameter, scattered throughout the inside shelf with a large kelp bed outside of the surf break. Gillespie recalled; “We spotted one small seal pup for a brief moment before we paddled out. We never saw it again but I remember thinking he looked a little lost or frightened. Although the swell was small out of the SW, only about 3 feet and slightly inconsistent, I was impressed by the set up. There was a clean left handed break to the South and a fun right handed break peeling off a small boil of kelp to the North. My friend, Al, and I had been paddling between both breaks indecisively for about 2 hours. Finally we settled upon the left where we waited patiently for the infrequent surf. I had that eerie, ‘sharky,’ feeling the whole time we were out but as the night grew nearer so did my spooky intuition. We had finally made the decision to get one last wave in. While we were sitting, waiting for that last set, I was staring out to sea when I saw the fin about 20 yards in front of me and east of the giant kelp bed. The fin was approximately 1 1/2 feet high, solid grey, triangular, and cutting through the water at a stealthy pace. It was moving parallel to us heading in a northerly direction. I watched in disbelief for about three or four seconds before it submerged. This was enough time for me to confirm it was a SHARK. I've seen dolphins regularly my whole life, I know the difference. I asked Al if he had seen the fin but before he could react I started hightailing towards the beach. I admit I was laughing hysterically, but that was because I was scared and had a heavy strand of kelp wrapped around my leash slowing me down. When we got to shore I turned around to see the fin again but this time it was right where we were sitting moments before. Al and I and another surfer who said he got out of the water because he witnessed a large thrashing, watched for about 20 minutes and never saw the big fish again. I have been surfing this coastline for 23 years and on only one other occasion did I see a shark. This was, by far, my scariest encounter.” Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Upper Trestles — On July 2, 2005, Daniel Sindell, his father John, and friend Brian Pompa were surfing Upper Trestles above Trail Point off of Bluff Point near San Onofre. At 2:30 PM they had been in the water about 1.5 hours and were 75 yards from shore. The sky was clear with a calm sea and 1-2 foot swells. The ocean floor consisted of eel grass, rocks with a few sandy areas and was 7-8 feet deep. John Sindell recounted; “My son, Daniel, his friend, Brian, and I had entered the water a few hundred yards south of the encounter site, below the point at Upper Trestles. Daniel and Brian were on short white surfboards. I was using yellow fins with a blue and yellow body board. Due to barnacles and rocks my feet became cut during our entry into the surf. The weather was very clear and the water very calm, but we were determined to enjoy a few small waves. The water visibility was near zero, as in you could not see your finger-tips if you dipped your hand straight down in the water to your wrist. This was due to the extreme turbidity caused by the red tide organisms. We decided to paddle up above the point directly out from the bluff point to enjoy the break there. After semi-catching several very small waves, we were all in close proximity to each other, forming a triangle approximately 4 feet apart. The boys were not sitting on there boards, but hanging in the water by there arms as I was from my body board. All of a sudden, water swirled and Daniel yelled out saying he had been hit and began trying to climb up on his board and walk on water back to the shore! At first I thought the swirl was from Daniel's movement, and then I realized it had most likely been a large shark. I told them it was probably a shark checking us out and told the boys to calmly begin heading into shore. They took off like rockets with me following behind. We half rode and half paddled into shore. I checked Daniel’s leg. There was no bleeding, nor was there any apparent bruising. It did appear as though there was a slight abrasion to his calf. Daniel said the animal felt very large and muscular with its slick side rubbing against the entire height of the calf of his leg (approximately 16-18" of contact). After a while the boys decided they didn't want to go back in that day, so we went home. I have had similar experiences in Florida while growing up and was not overly concerned. However, I definitely felt the need to be cautious and suggested we get out of the water. The TV news media had shown helicopter footage of juvenile White Sharks cruising this area last year among surfers.” Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Ponto Beach — On June 26, 2005 Frankie Claus and a companion were surfing at Ponto Beach, Carlsbad. It was sunny with a recorded air temperature of 73 degrees and a water temperature of 63 degrees. The water was about 8 feet deep with a sandy ocean floor and a few small rocks scattered throughout the area. It was 2:30 PM and they had been in the water about 15 minutes. There was a substantial amount of kelp in the area with big waves and rough sea conditions. Claus recalled; “My friend and I were out surfing with nice waves about 6 and a half feet. We were separated by about 3 feet we were talking and swimming out to a new set when I looked over to my left and saw a dark grey dorsal fin. At first I thought it could have been a dolphin but as it swim closer and I could see that the fin was pointed and clearly a shark. It was about 5 feet in length. It continued to swim toward us until it was about 15 feet away. I told my friend that we should head in to the beach.” Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

San Gregorio State Beach — On June 25, 2005, Rick Abrahms was surfing at San Gregorio State Beach, located about 10 miles south of Half Moon Bay. It was 2:00 PM and he had been in the water over an hour. It was a sunny day with the air temperature in the mid 70s and light variable winds. The ocean was smooth, semi-glassy, with waist high surf. Abrahms recounted; “I was sitting upright on my board waiting for a set and felt an extremely uneasy feeling and thought to take note of my surroundings. I looked around but only saw the reflection of the sun on an approaching wave. I attempted to paddle into the set wave but missed the take-off and turned to get back in position as more set waves were approaching. As I paddled over one wave I still felt that uneasy vibe and looked around again. This time I noted a 2-2 1/2 foot tall dark gray dorsal fin and knew it wasn’t a dolphin. The shark appeared to be about 14 feet in length and was about 15 feet away from me. It was traveling in a SE to NW direction along the sand bar. I immediately paddled in to a breaking wave and went directly to the beach where I warned other surfers and swimmers of the shark’s presence.” Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Emma Wood State Beach — On June 18, 2005 Lance Pifer and Kurtis McCaskill were surfing at Emma Wood State Beach in Ventura. It was sunny with a moderate onshore wind. The surf was running 3 to 5 feet with a west wind swell. The water was about 10 feet deep with 5 feet of visibility and an estimated temperature of 55 degrees. It was about 12:15 or 12:30 PM and they had been in the water 2 hours. Lance recounted; “I had just paddled out after taking a wave and sat up on my board to wait for the next set. We were both sitting up on our boards waiting out what seemed to be a long lull when I noticed a dorsal fin, about 18 inches high, break the surface of the water about 20 feet from the line-up and 20 yards out from our location. It was angling directly toward us. The shark seemed to be slowly approaching us from a westerly direction. It appeared to be at least 10 feet in length. The shark stayed at the surface for about 15 or 20 seconds and just seemed to be just watching us. The shark did not waver from its course as it slowly swam straight for us. When the shark was only a few feet away the dorsal fin slowly submerged. At this point we both confirmed what we had seen and decided to paddle in.” Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Pt. Mugu — On June 16, 2005, Kas Alves, Jason Livingstone, and a third unidentified man, were surfing off Pt. Mugu Naval Base at 5:15 PM. They had been in the water about one hour. It was sunny with light offshore winds and an air temperature of 65-70 degrees. The sea was calm with good water visibility as the sandy bottom, at a depth of 8-10 feet, was nearly visible from the surface. Water temperature was in the low 60s. An undetermined number of adult and juvenile pinnipeds were observed in the area. Kas recalled; “There were 3 of us in the water. I was the only surfer with Jason and the other man on ‘body boards.’ I had just caught a wave and was paddling back out to the line up. As I approached a wave to duck dive (go under) the unidentified body boarder was to my left and about to drop in and Jason was to my right. That was when I noticed the shark coming at the man to my left at full speed; in what seemed to be an attack mode. I saw the color of the shark, which at first I was hoping was a dolphin, but when I saw the bottom half of the shark was white; that was when my jaw dropped and I yelled...SHARK! Both body boarders turned around and took the wave in as I was expecting one of us to get hit by the shark as it was moving fast. I pulled up on my surf board to brace myself for some kind of encounter but the wave broke and messed up the shark’s approach before it could hit one of us. It went passed me into the shallows and actually was stranded momentarily on the sand bar. The shark twisted back and forth before finally thrusting back out to deeper waters. Jason and I believe the Great White was 10-13 feet in length. It was amazing that I saw the shark coming at us from behind the wave. It was clear and it absolutely frightened me. I have been back in the water and cannot stop thinking about it, especially every time I duck dive a clear faced wave. We all searched for at least a half hour after the encounter for another sighting of the shark but it was not seen again. As a side note, on Saturday, June 18, the lifeguards at Leo Carrillo spotted a 13 ft. Great White and cleared the water.” Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Linda Mar Beach — On June 9, 2005 Chelsea Dodgen was surfing the north end of Linda Mar Beach. It was about 1 PM and she had been in the water 2 hours. It was foggy with an air temperature in the low 60s and the water temperature in the mid 50s. The wind was just beginning to pick up. Dodgen recalled: “I was sitting on my board, watching the waves. A set had just passed and most of the surfers were inside. I saw a fin sticking above the surface about 8 inches just as a wave crested between me and the fin. It was 15-20 feet from the line up. When the wave passed I saw the fin again. It didn't appear to be moving and didn't seem interested in me. I quickly took the next wave in and then told people going back out to alert the lineup. Since I haven't seen a shark before I can't be 100% certain that's what it was, however I am sure that it wasn't a dolphin. When I reached the beach another surfer told me she had seen the fin as well. She agreed it was no dolphin.” Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Fort Ross — On June 5, 2005, Thomas Anderson and Mark Reese were abalone free-diving 50 yards from the beach at Fort Ross just north of Russian Gulch. Water temperature was about 50 degrees with visibility of 8 feet and a depth of 20 feet. The ocean floor was rocky with numerous areas of short stature kelp growing from their surfaces. The sky was overcast with a choppy sea surface the result of a strong surge and wind. It was 2:30 PM and Anderson and Reese had been in the water about 30 minutes following two earlier scuba dives and a rest period. They had each speared a lingcod and rockfish during the two prior scuba dives. Anderson recounted: “We were scuba diving and hunting for fish, which might have attracted the shark. Our first dive was about 11:30 AM and we took a lingcod and a rockfish. The second dive was about 1:00 PM and we took another lingcod and rock fish. We took our catch to shore and decided to free dive for some abalone. It was about 2 PM when we entered the water for our third dive of the day. We got one abalone and were on the surface when we noticed a dorsal fin, about two feet high, approximately 20 yards away and approaching our location. The shark slowly circled us once and then a large wave came over and we could no longer see the shark. We had a good look at the shark for about 20 seconds while it circled us. It appeared to be 15 to 20 feet in length. At this point we moved away from that location and continued to dive for another 5-8 minutes. We then decided to head for the shore. It was an incredibly tense moment for both Mark and me. We encountered a white shark and we lived! It was a once in a lifetime experience.” There have been several White Shark encounters and attacks reported from this area in the past. Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Linda Mar Beach — On May 31, 2005, Kathryn Amy Sisterman and her brother Tom Sisterman were surfing Linda Mar Beach, Pacifica. The sky was overcast and the sea choppy with 4-7 foot waves and 3 feet of visibility. At 12:45 PM they had been in the water for about 1.5 hours. Pinnipeds were observed to the south near the rocks. Kathryn recalled: “My brother and I were waiting for waves on the south side of the beach past the break. Closer to the south rocks about 30 meters from our location I saw a triangular dark grey fin about 18 inches in height with jagged edges on the posterior side. It didn't appear to be swimming and then submerged after about 5 seconds. I looked over and my brother confirmed seeing the same thing. We waited for a wave and boogie-boarded into the beach. We spoke with other surfers but they hadn't seen the fin. Together we waited but didn't see the ominous fin again. About 20 minutes after seeing the original fin, I observed 3 dolphins swimming north. The dolphin dorsal fins appeared smaller, lighter grey, smoother, and more curved than the first ominous dorsal fin sighting.” Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Sunset Beach — On May, 2, 2005, Bryan James was surfing at Sunset Beach, which is located between Surfside and Huntington Beaches. It was 1:30 PM and the sky was overcast. He had been in the water about 2 hours. James recalled; “I was sitting on my board waiting for a wave when I noticed large swirls in the water next to me. I also felt them around my legs under my board. I thought it might be a dolphin until I saw a large shark swim underneath my board. It appeared to be almost twice as big as my surfboard and twice as wide. It surfaced about 20 feet from where it had gone underneath me and slowly cruised back towards me. It submerged and continued to go underneath me a second time. I caught the first wave to the beach. Once onshore I noticed a large mark on the bottom of my board, much like a pressure ding. Although I did not feel the shark make contact with me or my board at any point it could have. There were 2 other surfers in the water with me about 10 yards from my location and they quickly exited the water when I came ashore. I did not see the shark after I reached the beach. The shark was 8 – 10 feet in length.” Tony Wong reported a shark encounter 15 days ago at Bolsa Chica Beach, which is just south of Sunset Beach. Caution should be exercised when utilizing this area for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Ocean Beach — On May 1, 2005, Sven Vahsen and Tobias Golling were surfing Ocean Beach near Noriega Street, San Francisco. It was about 8:15 AM and they had been in the water for 90 minutes. The sky was clear and the water glassy with the faces of breaking waves ranging from 1– 9 feet. The depth of the water was about 9 feet with visibility limited to only a few feet. Vahsen recalled; “My friend and I were sitting on our surfboards waiting for waves. We were sitting in a location where the 2 meter and larger waves would break. I think we can infer from this that there must have been sandbanks about 2-3 meters under the water to cause the breaking waves, with deeper water in between. My legs were hanging in the water. We were quite far out for surfing, perhaps 150 meters. A third friend and two other surfers were in the same area, but closer to the beach. I suddenly noticed a shark fin outside of where I was sitting, about 15 meters away from me. The shark was moving very slowly, if at all, towards the north. It did not appear interested in us. I was looking for incoming waves when I spotted the fin. It submerged after a few seconds, and I did not see it again. I consulted with my two friends and one of them had also seen the fin briefly. We decided to paddle in. We paddled towards the beach calmly, and rode the next suitable waves towards the shore. We warned another surfer who did not seem very concerned. Once I described the fin he seemed to believe perhaps it really was a shark, but he stayed out in the water. The fin was triangular in shape, almost black in color, and about 1.5 feet tall. It was only slightly asymmetrical in shape. I noticed that the fin had some 'structure' on the trailing edge of the fin. It looked like there were streaks, almost like the hairs on a paint brush. That end of the fin looked soft. After browsing pictures of shark fins on the web, I think we saw a great white shark.” White Sharks are known to frequent this area. Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Carlsbad State Park Beach — On April 30, 2005, Tyler Madison and a companion were surfing at Ponto Road, Carlsbad State Park. It was 5:25 PM and the sky was partly cloudy with a slight on shore breeze. The water was about 12 feet deep and the ocean floor was sandy with freely moving rounded small rocks. They had been in the water about 30 minutes and were separated by 30 to 40 feet. Madison recalled; “I saw the dorsal fin as it was parallel to the beach. It was a whitish light gray color and pointed, not like a dolphin. It was following my friend as he paddled out from the beach to catch a set. I have never seen anything like that before in the ocean. I immediately turned toward the beach and started paddling back in. My friend came in about two minutes later. We just stood on the beach and starred at the ocean. I understand it is common for sharks to be out there, but it was a little scary for the only shortboarders out there.” Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sightings, encounters or attacks to the Shark Research Committee.

Rockaway Beach — On April 26 2005, Patty Kaz was surfing at Rockaway Beach, Pacifica. It was 8:15 AM and she had been in the water about 2 hours. The sky was overcast with an air temperature of about 60 degrees and the sea was glassy with 2-3 foot waves and visibility of only a few feet. Patty recounted: “I was surfing small waves for about 5 minutes before I sighted the shark. I was just sitting on my board as the waves came to a lull. I wasn't moving at all for these 5 minutes. I had my feet dangling in water. Suddenly I got a real "BAD" feeling and looked up to see a shark dorsal fin about 40 feet away. The fin was about 2 feet high and the shark was moving back and forth near some rocks. I lay down on my board, taking my legs out of the water. My heart was pounding and I knew I dared not make a move or splash. I waited for a few minutes till a decent set wave took me in to the beach. When I reached the shore I looked back and the shark was close to where I had been just moments earlier. A guy in the parking lot went up high on the rocks and looked down with binoculars and sure enough the shark was visible. The shark was about 12 ft long. The dorsal and tail fins were visible as well as the outline of shark’s body.“ Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Bolsa Chica State Beach — On April 17, 2005, Tony Wong was surfing about 100 yards from shore near the southern end of the parking lot at Bolsa Chica Beach, between Seal Beach and Huntington Beach. It was about 12 noon and he had been in the water for a little more than an hour. There were a few fishermen nearby and the ocean water was murky with about 3 feet of visibility and not much current. The sky was clear with a temperature of about 70 degrees. There was a slight wind with a 3 – 4 foot surf. Wong recalled; “ I was have a great time. I had caught a few waves and was back out waiting in the lineup when I saw the fin. It was about 12 inches high and very dark, maybe black, in color. The fin was traveling in a southerly direction. About 40 minutes prior to this sighting, I thought I had seen a fin exposed but then it vanished and I did not give it much thought. However, the second sighting the fin was 30 – 40 feet west of my location. I turned around and paddled toward shore. I caught the next wave and rode it to the beach.” Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark predation, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Zuma Beach — On April 3, 2005, Mitch Chupack was surfing at Station # 12, Zuma Beach. It was partly cloudy with a light fog and an air temperature of about 54 degrees. It was mid-morning and the ocean was beginning to get choppy. Chupack recalled: “I had been in the water about 20 minutes and was sitting on my board about 35 yards from shore watching a pod of 12 or 13 dolphins that had formed a crescent around my board and were no more than 10 feet from me. They were in front and on each side of my board and remained there for about 4 minutes. Several were lying on their sides as if they were watching me. When they moved away I paddled in to position myself for the next wave. While paddling I saw a shark pass 3 feet to the east of me heading towards the shore break. At first I thought it might have been one of the dolphins, however, upon closer examination the shape, dorsal fin and undulating movement were unmistakable. I immediately started paddling west and north toward the beach when I observed it, or another shark, at the surfline. It was between me and my intended direction of travel to the beach. Suddenly there was a thrashing about 15 feet in front of me and the shark came partially out of the water with a fish in its mouth. I had a clear view of the shark's head and dorsal fin. The dorsal fin was about 10 inches high and the head was about 12 inches across. The underside of the shark was white and the head and back gray. It appeared to be about 8 feet in length. I continued to the beach and warned several triathlon swimmers and other surfers that were 50 yards west.” This is the same area where a White Shark was observed feeding on a pinniped in early March. White Sharks are known to frequent this area. Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any sightings, encounters, or attacks to the Shark Research Committee.

Monterey Bay — On Thursday, March 31, 2005, a young female white shark placed on exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium last September was returned to the wild shortly before sunrise. Aquarium staff members released the shark in the waters south of Monterey Bay. An electronic data tag was attached that will track her movements for the next month. During her 198 days in the Outer Bay exhibit, she grew from a length of 5 feet and a weight of 62 pounds to a length of 6-feet-4 ½ inches and a weight of 162 pounds. The shark was caught inadvertently by a commercial halibut fisherman in the coastal waters off Huntington Beach on August 20, 2004.

El Segundo — On March 24, 2005, at 9:30 AM, Lee Tonks, 35, was surfing off El Porto at Lifeguard Station # 45, El Segundo. He had been in the water about 90 minutes and was 75 yards from shore. The sea was glassy with a sandy bottom 15 to 20 feet below the surface. Tonks estimated the water visibility to be about 7 feet with a temperature of 60 degrees. Tonks recalled; “I was sitting on my board waiting for a wave. I looked down and saw the dark shadow of a heavy set shark passing approximately 6feet below me; it was moving at a good speed. I believe it was a great white shark because of the body type of the shark, very wide at the front, sort of short and stocky, with side fins. This eliminated the possibility of it being a dolphin, also when dolphins are present at El Porto they usually make it known and are in groups. I called over to my friend and paddled into shore and exited the water. The shark was about 8 feet in length.” Caution should be exercised when using this area for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sightings, encounters or attacks to the Shark Research Committee.

Zuma Beach — On March 17, 2005, James Goss and a number of spectators, including a life guard, were several hundred yards Northwest of Point Dume at Zuma Beach. It was about 6 PM and the sky was partly cloudy. The group of spectators observed an adult Grey Whale, accompanied by a juvenile, within 100 yards of the beach. While observing the two whales they noticed a shark’s dorsal fin, 18 to 24 inches in height, in the same area. The shark was estimated at 15 feet or more and was very dark in color. Goss reported; “A large Grey whale and baby were swimming very close to shore, within 100 yards of the beach. A very large shark’s dorsal fin appeared out of the water very close to shore, within 100 feet. The whale started a lot of movement and circles being seen in the water, apparently moving its tail quite strongly near the shark. This went on for about one half hour. More whales appeared from the south, further out, almost looking like they were coming to the aid of the mother and her baby. The mother and baby began swimming in an angular path north and west, towards the path of the other whales. The lifeguard on duty witnessed the event as did several other visitors to this part of the beach. It was nearing dusk when we no longer saw the shark and the mother and baby were quite far away, moving towards deeper water.” This is the same area where a White Shark predation on a pinniped reportedly occurred in mid-February of this year. White Sharks are known to frequent this area. Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sightings, encounters or attacks to the Shark Research Committee.

Topanga Beach — On March 2, 2005, at 10:00 AM, Jonathan T. had been surfing for 2 hours off Topanga Beach. It was overcast with a light variable wind. The water was 8 – 10 feet deep with a rocky and sandy bottom. Jonathan recounted: “I saw a dorsal fin about 25 feet away from my position, which was about 75 feet from shore. I watched as the dorsal fin submerged out of sight. I was stationary at the time, sitting on my board. Then the shark bumped me off my board. I got a good look at it when this happened. It had a dull gray back, whitish underneath, and was easily twice the length of my board, which is 7 feet. It rolled on its side as it bumped me and swam past. It felt like I had been side-swiped by a truck. It scraped my leg through my wetsuit which was torn by the shark. There were approximately 20 other surfers in the area, but nobody would believe me and I was the only person to exit the water, rapidly.” If this individual or incident is known to you please contact the Shark Research Committee. A more definitive investigation of this case is required to determine whether this incident should be classified as an encounter or an attack. Juvenile White Sharks are born in the early spring along the Southern California beaches. Adult White Sharks are known to frequent these beaches as well. Caution should be exercised when utilizing this area for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

Encinitas — On February 16, 2005, Billy Winslow, age 13, was surfing with school classmates and 3 team coaches at Beacons, Encinitas. It was 4:40 PM and he had been in the water about 15 minutes. The sky was clear and the sea calm with glassy 3 to 4 foot waves. The water was 15 feet deep with a sandy bottom and a partial reef and areas of eel grass. Water visibility was 6 to 10 feet. Winslow recounted; “I was on the beach at the bottom of the cliff and I was getting my wetsuit on when I kept seeing a splash in 20 second intervals about 20 yards in from the kelp beds. I kept an eye on the activity out of curiosity, as I paddled out to meet the rest of the 15-20 kids from my school surf team who were already surfing. When I got to the line-up, I caught a few waves and when I paddled back out I saw the same splashing. After I watched about two more splashes, what looked like a seal was launched out of the water tail first. Behind the seal was an immense splashing movement from side to side, in the way a shark swims. I immediately informed my classmates that there was a shark in the water and that they should quickly, yet calmly, choose a wave to ride in to shore. None of the kids saw the shark, but it was seen by my dad and the two surf team coaches that were on the bluff.” White Sharks have been reported from this area in the past. Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any sightings, encounters, or attacks to the Shark Research Committee.

Torrey Pines State Beach — On February 14, 2005, Scott Lowther was surfing at Torrey Pines State Beach, San Diego. It was 8:30 AM and he had been in the water about 45 minutes. The water was 8 feet deep with a sandy bottom and a recorded temperature of 59 degrees. There were 2-3 foot swells with the surface water calm beyond the breakers. The sky was partly cloudy. A few patches of drifting kelp were seen offshore. Lowther recalled; “I was sitting on my board about 40 yards from shore waiting for a wave. I was facing west with the sun coming up behind me. The water surface was glassy beyond the breakers. There was no glare on the water. I had seen several dolphins earlier that morning, which was not unusual. I suddenly notice a very large (at least 24 inches high) black triangular fin surface 20 yards south of me. The shark swam in a large circle very slowly for 20 seconds stirring the water surface with a side to side tail motion (not the up and down motion of a dolphin). The shark then headed south and descended with the fin going completely underwater. I would estimate the distance from the dorsal fin to the tail to be about 8 feet. I went ashore and looked for it from the beach but could not find it again. I have been surfing San Diego for more than 20 years and have never seen anything like this. I am extremely familiar with all of the local mammals and sharks but this was very large.” The size and shape of the dorsal fin, and distance from it to the tail, suggests a White Shark as the species most likely involved in this encounter. Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sightings or encounters to the Shark Research Committee.

Manresa State Beach — On Sunday, February 6, 2005, Sam Fischer was surfing in front of the condos at Manresa State Beach. It was about 12 PM and there was a slight wind chop with small surf and an onshore breeze of about 10 knots. The sky was clear with the air temperature about 60 degrees. Water depth was about 8 feet with 5 feet of visibility and a temperature estimated at 55 degrees. Fischer recalled; “I had been in the water about 10 minutes. I was surfing with two other individuals at a small peak in the middle of the ‘condos.’ One surfer was struggling to paddle out through the break and the other had just caught a wave as I paddled past the break. I sat up on my board and looked up the beach towards Santa Cruz. I looked directly at a dorsal fin that was 18 inches in height and about 20 yards from me. I looked away and then looked back to be sure I wasn’t hallucinating. After staring at it for five or ten seconds, I realized that the fin was that of a great white shark. It was swimming slowly away from me, parallel to the beach. There was one seagull sitting on the water near the shark. At that moment a small wave came, which I promptly caught and rode to the beach. I stopped when I was in about 2 feet of water and turned around to see where the shark was, but it was gone.” White Sharks are known to frequent this area. Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any sightings or encounters to the Shark Research Committee.

San Clemente — On Saturday, January 22, 2005, Paxton Williams was surfing Califia at San Clemente State Park. There was a light offshore breeze under a sunny sky. The water was about 6 feet deep and murky from a recent rain with visibility 2 feet or less. There were 5 to 6 foot heavy waves and a strong current with a glassy sea surface. It was 8:00 AM and Williams had been in the water about 15 minutes. He recalled; “I caught 4 or 5 waves before I saw the shark. I was sitting on my board when I observed the shark approaching, very slowly, from the sea toward the shore. When the shark was about 10 feet from me it appeared to hover for 5 to 10 seconds. I can't explain this, I know sharks don’t hover, but that was what it seemed to do. During this maneuver I was able to estimate the shark’s length at 6 to 9 feet. I lost sight of the shark in the waves as a set came through. Several seconds later I saw the shark about 20 feet away off to my left at the end of the set. The shark appeared to be moving a little faster, as I saw its gills for only a moment before it disappeared. The shark appeared to be heading from the shore out to sea. All of this took place in water 3 to 6 feet deep. I was spooked, and took one of the last set waves in to shore and walked south, down the beach about 1/4 mile, to be where there were more surfers. I did not see the shark again. I saw a baby seal on the beach within 100 feet of where I was surfing about 10-15 minutes later when I walked back north up the beach. Although a lifeguard and a beachgoer were attempting to get the baby seal to go back into the water it stood its ground and would not go back into the surf.” White Sharks are known to frequent this area. Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any sightings or encounters to the Shark Research Committee.

Montara State Beach — The following report is a compilation of information provided by Lucas Berla, Jeff Hiebert, and Mike Lee. On Saturday, January 22, 2005, at 2:30 PM, about ten surfers, including the above, were at the North end of Montara State Beach. It was a sunny, warm winter day. The winds were light and onshore with an air temperature of about 55 degrees. Water depth was approximately 2 fathoms with a temperature of 53 degrees. The set waves were 5 to 6 feet. The surfers were about 75 yards from shore. A Grey Whale surfaced 10 to 15 yards from the group. About 30 seconds later a dorsal fin, about 2 feet high, was seen cruising near the whale. All present were quick to agree that this was the dorsal fin of a shark. They all quickly swam to shore. The whale continued to swim near the surface, but the shark submerged and was not observed again. White Sharks are known to frequent this area. Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any sightings or encounters to the Shark Research Committee.

Huntington Beach — On Tuesday, January 18, 2005, at about 2:00 PM, Delen Lundquist went for a paddle straight out from the cliffs at Huntington Beach. Lundquist recalled; “I had initially planned on paddling out to the first oil rig. The trip out was uneventful and there was nothing out of the norm. I did not see any workers on the platform. I paddled over to the second oil rig and there were 3 or 4 workers out on deck. As I got close enough to yell, one of them warned me of a shark on the other side of the platform. I asked how big. There response was ‘BIG SHARK!’ I wanted to check it out a little more, but when you first hear those words you think, ‘time to head in.’ I don’t really think the workers were dumping chum or anything, but who knows? I saw the story about the hammerhead that was seen on Dec. 6th at the same location and thought this might be of some interest to your readers.” Please report any shark encounters or sightings to the Shark Research Committee.




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