Posted in: Animal News

Pacifica Shark Attack Scares Swimmers, Should You Be Afraid?

pacifica shark attack

This week’s Pacifica shark attack on a kayaker whose vessel was literally chomped by a great white shark struck fear into ocean dwelling humans across America — but are a rising number of shark attacks a legitimate concern for swimmers and surfers?

The Pacifica shark attack happened about 100 yards off Pedro Point in Pacifica, and kayaker Micah Flansburg described a terrifying sudden run-in with a snapping, biting, hungry shark.

Ross Webber, the Pacifica shark attack victim‘s father-in-law, recalls the younger man’s alarm when the shark leaped out of the surf and went looking for lunch. In a kayak.

Webber told press that his son-in-law panicked as we all might in such a circumstance, saying:

“Yeah, it was a lot if religious stuff, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God! … He was riding like a bull and keeping his balance and I was like, ‘Go for it! Don’t fall in the water!’ ”

Webber, who was 10 feet away in a separate kayak, was not bothered by the hungry shark looking for a fast food stop on the water, but Flansburg said the sheer force of the attack nearly sent him into the surf:

“I had my paddle on my lap, and my fishing pole and a bottle of home brew. The next thing I know, every single thing I had went flying in the air, it hit me so hard.”

Sharks are out there, for sure, and the Pacifica shark attack is a reminder that they can in fact attack humans — but is it a big concern for summer surfers as the season gets underway?

CS Monitor reports that there were 80 shark attacks in 2012, seven of which resulted in a fatality. Eighty sounds like a lot, but the site adds:

“In the event of a shark attack, scientists at The Florida Museum of Natural History recommend an aggressive response, like hitting its snout or clawing at its eyes or gills … But that’s a tip we’re unlikely to ever need to use. The odds of becoming a shark attack victim, based on beach attendance rates in the US, is about one in 11.5 million. The odds of dying in an attack are about 0 in 264.1 million – or, about nil.”

So while the Pacifica shark attack was indeed pretty brazen and scary, you should also know that you’re likelier to win a Powerball — and, sadly, that’s also still pretty unlikely.

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5 Responses to “Pacifica Shark Attack Scares Swimmers, Should You Be Afraid?”

  1. Veronica Grey

    Sharks attack yellow kayaks because it resembles the underbelly of a yummy meal. If they would put black and white stripes on the bottom of kayaks the way Boz wetsuits makes their suits shark deterring, it may save some lives. Thank God he is ok!

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