Fake shark attack warning signs are the latest weapon in a surfer’s failed battle to hog the waves. On Wednesday night, an unknown person posted as many as ten signs carrying the official logo of the California State Parks stating that there had been multiple shark sightings in the water off Pleasure Point near Santa Cruz.
A surfing forecast had said that the waves would be especially good for the next 48 hours.
However, the shark attack sign said that surfers should either stay out of the water for 48 hours or consider using a different beach five miles away. According to the posted notices, there were two reported sightings of great white sharks and one great white shark attack in the area.
On Thursday, California park authorities removed the signs and came forward to assure surfers that the warnings were bogus. The people who put up the fake shark attack signs haven’t been found.
However, both park officials and other surfers believe that the motive is pretty obvious — the unknown pranksters wanted the beach all to themselves.
A disgusted visitor told local news station KTVU:
“You know, it’s a pretty big ocean. I think there’s room for everyone. And with that I’m going to go put my wetsuit on.”
Others told KPIX that the hoax was dangerous, because it would teach other surfers to ignore the warnings. One surfer even said that he’d previously surfed with a shark by his side.
As surfers hurried to the beach to take advantage of the good waves, reporters asked if the people who posted the fake shark attack warnings actually broke any laws.
KTVU suggested that posting an official-looking sign was about the same as filing any false report and could be prosecuted under those laws.
KPIX essentially agreed, reporting that the use of the California State Parks logo to make the sign appear official was in fact an offense.
So, people, don’t decide it’s a cool thing to do to get the beach to yourself.
First of all, it won’t work, because the surfers will surf anyway. And, second, you’d feel pretty silly if you had to tell people you got arrested for posting fake shark attack warning signs.
[photo by Epic Stock Media via Shutterstock]