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A look back at shark attacks


Shark attacks have rarely been fatal in California in recent years, but at least 28 have been reported since 2003, according to a list compiled by the Canoga Park-based Shark Research Committee.

What follows is a  list of the fatal attacks in California since 2003:

April 25 - Swimmer near Solana Beach near San Diego.

Aug. 15 – Diver at Ten Mile River Beach, Fort Bragg.

Aug. 19 - Swimmer attacked in Avila Beach.

In 2005, Deborah Sullivan Brennan reported that experts think the rate in recent years is double the average of the previous 50 years, during which sharks struck 107 surfers, divers, kayakers or swimmers. Only one attack was reported in the half century before that, in 1926.

For how one person attacked by a shark dealt with her recovery, read "Shark-Attack Survivor Inspires Other Surfers With Her Courage" by the Times' David Reyes in 2004.

-Francisco Vara-Orta

Photo: Larry Armstrong/Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (2)

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And "double the average" from the 50 previous years really does need to be considered far more from a larger human population using the sea for recreation rather than just about any other reason. Sharks are no more hungry, aggressive or predacious than they have been for millions of years; more humans just present more feeding options.

When California started protecting sea mammals (seals, sea lions, etc) I think in the 1980's, more Great Whites were attracted to the California Coast in search of their prey. This is also one factor in the additional attacks.


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