Published: Sat, May 13, 2017
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

15 great white sharks spotted close to California paddle-boarders

15 great white sharks spotted close to California paddle-boarders

Screen grab from a video shot by the Orange County Sheriff's Department of Great White sharks off the coast of Dana Point, California, on Wednesday, May 10, 2017.

Orange County Sheriff Deputy Brian Stockbridge didn't mince his words when he warned swimmers at Capistrano Beach about shark sightings from a county helicopter.

Down the beach at San Onofre State Beach - in the same spot a woman was bitten by a shark on April 29 - a surfer reported an 8-foot shark exhibiting "aggressive behavior" after it darted toward him.

The sudden advisory was because of the 15 great white sharks spotted swimming too close to the beach, which could potentially attack beachgoers when provoked or become curious about the activity near the shore. A couple people were out paddle boarding when all of the sudden, the police showed up because SHARKS ALSO SHOWED UP.

One male paddle-boarder was seen scaring off a juvenile great white that was swimming just feet next to him. Younger sharks like munching on smaller fish, often hunting just outside of the surf break - although it's not unheard of for juveniles to venture into waist-deep waters. Their fins rose menacingly from the water as they glided back and forth.

These are not bloodthirsty predators, but rather a group of "toddlers", said Chris Lowe, director of the Shark Lab at California State University, Long Beach. They're continuously scanning the waters for sharks and can quickly warn people if there's a sighting. "We think they do that because that's a safe place".

The link between more sharks in certain areas - and shark attacks - became a concern several years ago. "I've seen the fin when the shark comes out". He said they lingered most of the summer and then disappeared. They've been protected in the US waters since 2005. Most people who get attacked by the terrifying fish survive, as nature writer Sy Montgomery told The Washington Post past year.

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