Tags: shark | attack | santa cruz | seal | surfer

Shark Attack in Santa Cruz Prompts Warnings to Beachgoers

By    |   Tuesday, 16 September 2014 11:43 AM

An attempted shark attack in Santa Cruz spooked beachgoers over the weekend and prompted officials to post warnings at all county beaches.

Surfer Beau Browning told lifeguards that a 15-foot great white shark knocked into his surfboard Saturday evening at Manresa State Beach near Watsonville, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported. He claims the predator then bit off a piece of the board and dragged him underwater by the board's leash for about five seconds. Browning managed to escape and swim back to the beach.

"I'm stressed out. I'm sore from being pulled by a 2,500-pound animal in the water," he told the Sentinel on Monday. "My back hurts and my leg hurts."

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State officials decided to close the beach after the attempted shark attack on Browning, saying that surfers and swimmers would be ticketed and fined if they entered the water.

On Sunday, Seabright State Beach park officials issued a public warning after a shark attacked a harbor seal roughly 50 yards from shore, flipping the animal in the air in front of beachgoers, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

California State Parks supervising ranger Joe Connors told the Mercury News that he did not know if the seal survived the attack.

"We don't get these reports often," he said of the aggressive nature of the shark's attack on the seal.

Connors said that warnings to swimmers would be posted for three days.

"We're warning and advising people what happened and it's up to them if they want to enter the beach or not," he said.

George Burgess, director of shark research at the Florida Museum of Natural History, told National Geographic that humans are often fishing and swimming in the same areas as shark habitats, which often leads to encounters.

"It's also not real smart, in areas with great white sharks, to have a swimming beach right next to a seal beach, which is what you see in some other areas," he said. "Juvenile great whites . . . generally eat fish, but adult great whites eat seals. Swimming near seal beaches can be dangerous."

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An attempted shark attack in Santa Cruz spooked beachgoers over the weekend and prompted officials to post warnings at all county beaches.
shark, attack, santa cruz, seal, surfer
Tuesday, 16 September 2014 11:43 AM
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