A Great White Breached Uncomfortably Close To The Lowers Lineup
And nobody paddled in…
In today’s perpetrator of fear: Another great white breached at Lowers this morning. This has been a long time coming, but, it’s official, Southern California is in shark hysteria.
For years, it’s been known that Southern California has its share of Great Whites (with San Onofre as a hub), but attacks are generally unheard of… Yeah, that one lady got bit swimming beyond the surf line while training for a triathlon in Newport. Sure, there was that time someone reeled a Great White into a swimmer off the Manhattan Beach pier. Or, earlier this year when two Great Whites(on separate occasions) were pulled in, and one onto the Huntington Beach pier. A couple breaches on Surfline’s cam rewinds, here and there. But, still, no one worried.
Then at Church(es) (seriously, who in the area calls it Church or the Church?) last weekend, a woman was attacked and the Orange County community gasped. She’s currently in critical condition and there is a GoFundme page set up, head here to help. For years, it has been an out of sight out of mind affair. Just juveniles we’ve said. In the water we’ve seen the signs, stories of sharks in the deep caves of LA’s favourite slice of gutter trash, El Porto are commonplace. I once saw one, it was small, and I didn’t think much of it for I was on the sand.
Scrolling through Instagram on Saturday evening, George Trimm’s post of lifeguards announcing a closed beach due a shark attack sparked the initial reaction. Rumour, from various sources, is going around that the victim swam out to her friend on a standup where they were confronted by a bleeding baby seal. Being good samaritans, they saw their fellow mammal as hurt, pulled it onto the deck of the paddle board in an attempt to save it before being bitten. Rumours are rumours, but truth does have a tendency to be stranger than fiction.
Every day since then, some shark activity has been reported. Blame drones, social media, webcams at nearly every beach and might as well throw Trump in for good measure. San Clemente closed their beaches down due to an increase in sharks, and it seems the sightings are no longer juveniles. They’re coming in at 8-12 feet, and breachings are commonplace.
According to an article on Surfline, probs your go-to surf forecast/webcam/shark activity documenter, since Saturday, there have been three seen and two recorded breaches between Uppers and Lowers (uncomfortably close to the lineup). And that’s just one stretch of beach. However, the crowd still hasn’t thinned, but shark hysteria is this week’s belle of the ball. Prompting the question, for Southern California, is this the new normal?