On Thursday October 2nd, 2014, at 5:30 p.m. a surfer was attacked by a great white shark while surfing near Wall Beach in Santa Barbara County. According to the Los Angeles Times, the man endured non-life threatening injuries to his knee, along with minor cuts on other parts of his body.
After the attack, Vandenberg Air Force officials made the decision to close three sites to the public for 72 hours, including Wall, Surf, and Minuteman beaches, all within the immediate area where the event occurred. According to the Air Force base, the closures were lifted as of Sunday at 4:00 p.m.
Ralph Collier, who is the president of the Shark Research Institute, commented on the incident assuring officials the shark was likely between eight and ten feet long. Collier plans to gain more information regarding the shark by inspecting the surfer’s damaged surfboard. According to Collier, seal and sea lion populations are rather large this year which increases the likelihood of shark encounters by beach-goers, surfers, boaters and ocean kayakers on the California coastline.
The next day, on Friday October 3rd, 2014, according to CBS Los Angeles, a group of kayakers sent out distress calls near Point Conception in Santa Barbara County after a shark attack. Beaches in the surrounding area were closed by officials. Boaters Lou and Charles Christman were fishing in the area and first to the scene after hearing the distress call. When they arrived at Point Conception, they discovered one kayaker hanging on to his damaged kayak. Charles told reporter Tracy Lehr at KCOY/KEYT that the great white was “probably a 16- to 18-foot shark” and he “saw a splash,” suddenly heard “Mayday, mayday, mayday” on his radio and immediately attempted to determine where the kayakers were to facilitate a rescue. After last weeks incidents, it’s safe to say beach goers, boaters, surfers, and kayakers alike should all take precautions to use safe ocean practices and beware of the surrounding wildlife.
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