Along with recognizing the enormous sacrifices of American military members and their families, Memorial Day weekend is also the official gateway to Summer, particularly in places like Huntington Beach in Southern California where thousands flock from all over the world to enjoy the magical Pacific West Coast.
Along with these human beach vacationers, some other local residents are making their presence known off the coast of Huntington Beach, with at least 13 Great White Sharks spotted swimming near the shore of the town which is about an hour south of Los Angeles and also known as Surf City (much to the chagrin of Santa Cruz which is further north).
According to the Los Angeles Times, the “more than a dozen” great white sharks were spotted Tuesday night, perhaps enjoying another picturesque sunset, roaming the waters off Sunset Beach, a quiet northern enclave of Huntington Beach.
The group of great white sharks was reportedly spotted by a Huntington Beach police helicopter flight crew, further examination of the notorious great whites revealing that they’re youngsters, but still an intimidating five-to-seven feet long. In other words, big enough, and great-white-shark-looking enough, to terrify anyone who has seen the movie JAWS.
Full-grown great white sharks are generally in the 12 to 18-foot range but can reach up to 20-feet long.
The Huntington Beach police flight crew logged in their report of the juvenile, potentially delinquent, great white sharks around 6 p.m., also alerting Huntington Beach lifeguards. No swimmers or surfers were reported to have been enjoying recreational activity among the great whites however.
While no great white shark warnings or swim advisories have been posted at Sunset Beach or anywhere else in Huntington Beach, other recent great white shark sightings are joining those in previous years to make great white shark sightings seem fairly common off Huntington Beach.
Great white sharks have always been out there, but the spotting of great white sharks more and more frequently close to shore is a recent phenomena.
But do beach-goers in Huntington really have anything to fear from the juvenile great whites?
The Orange County Register reports that one surfer and beach enthusiast, Olivia Herstein, certainly has her reservations.
“The odds are in our favor (of not being bitten or eaten by a great white shark in Huntington Beach) but just to be on the safe side, I’m not taking my (kids) to Sunset Beach soon, until shark birthing and juvenile season is over. For now, I’ll keep my kids, and my own limbs, on the north side of Seal Beach and at Malibu.”
Other Huntington Beach locals and surfers, such as Dave Reynolds, aren’t about to let the juvenile great white sharks keep them out of the water, however.
For Reynolds getting eaten by a great white shark off Huntington Beach is a Darwinian thing, Reynolds posting via social media, “As long as I can paddle faster than the slowest surfer in the water, I’m good!”
[Images by Dan Kitwood, Getty Images, and Wikipedia]