San Diego Shark Attack: Is It Safe to Go Back in the Water?
Last Friday, the Pacific waters off San Diego County were roiled after a shark attacked and killed a retired veterinarian and triathlete. An online report from the San Diego Union-Tribune says experts have confirmed that the predator was a great white shark. (During an autopsy, great white teeth were recovered from the victim.) Authorities closed a stretch of sand around Solana Beach, about 20 miles north of downtown San Diego, to search for the shark. (None was found.) The North County beaches have since been reopened.
According to Jon Greene, spokesman of the Solano Beach Chamber, "People are not being deterred. It was just one of those freak things."
From 1990 to 1999, there have been 108 shark attacks along the West Coast; great whites were suspected in 87 percent of those situations. Since 2000, 31 shark attacks have occured off California, two of which were fatal. In San Diego County, the last deadly shark attack happened in 1994.
Though lifeguards are on alert, one way beachgoers can protect themselves is to not wear wetsuits. Greene explained how the slick black material mimics seal skin, a popular lunch item among sharks. Fortunately, summer is approaching and swimmers can go barelegged. But be careful of the endless summer. The founder of the Shark Research Committee says shark sightings are more common in August, September and October, due to migration and birthing patterns.
As a final precaution, watch "Jaws" after you go to the beach, not before.
Update: A San Francisco man was attacked and killed by a shark in Mexico. For more details, click here.
By Andrea Sachs |
April 30, 2008; 6:31 AM ET
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