In case your shark paranoia was beginning to wane, well, this weekend in California certainly did its part to revive it.
On Saturday morning around 10 AM at Morro Strand State Beach in Morro Bay, a presumed 6-foot juvenile Great White Shark chomped a sizable bite from the surfboard of 54-year-old Elinor Dempsey.
“I looked under because I like to look at the bottom,” Dempsey told CNN, “and I saw a large object and I thought, ‘God that looks like dolphin, because we see dolphins out there a lot, and the next thing I knew it’s body was right here, literally right next to me, because time sort of stopped, and I panicked.”
According to CNN, the beach closed shortly after, and State Parks insist that people stay out of the water for a 72-hour period through Monday.
“Where I was surfing, I was just three feet out from the next guy,” said Dempsey. “It just seems very surreal at this point.”
The weekend’s shark activity extended to Southern California as well when kayakers spotted an 8- to 10-foot hammerhead shark on Saturday in San Diego, causing lifeguards to close the beach from La Jolla to Scripps Pier. After reopening the beaches, a 6- 8-foot hammerhead was spotted again on Sunday off La Jolla Shores.
Which only reinforces what we already knew: Sharks live in the ocean.
As for the paranoia, try this on for size. A group of researchers from Stanford University say that our chances of being attacked by a shark are at all-time low in California. Read the Forbes article for more there. And maybe grab some Sharkbanz while you’re at it.