Great White Shark Attack Closes Popular California Beach

Great White sharks, and sharks in general, need to find a new PR firm as another attack–this one non-fatal–has occurred at a popular beach in Santa Barbara, California, prompting officials to close the beach until it is deemed safe for swimmers. As reported by ABC News, three beaches were closed along Vandenberg Air Force Base for the weekend following an attack on a surfer on Thursday afternoon. The three beaches, Wall, Surf, and Minuteman are popular attractions for servicemen and their families and make up most of the shoreline in Lompoc county.

great white shark attack
Three beaches outside Santa Barbara, CA have been closed after a shark attack.

According to a report by KTLA, the shark that attacked the unidentified surfer was eight to 10 feet in length, indicating that the fish was possibly an adolescent or young adult shark.

This is not the first time that Surf beach has been closed due to a shark attack. In October of 2010, and again in October 2012, surfers were attacked and died from their injuries, which prompted the closure of the beach. The newest attack came on October 1st of 2014, indicating that the Great White sharks seemingly employ an “every other year” attack schedule on unsuspecting swimmers and surfers.

The newest attack adds to what has already been a summer full of shark news, including attacks on swimmers and surfers, with six being fatal this year alone. As reported on The Inquisitr, a surfer in Australia lost an arm and both hands just two days ago. While the number of attacks isn’t higher than previous years, advances in science, as well as the public’s ongoing infatuation with the predatory fish, have kept sharks, and especially Great White sharks, in the news. Scientists have tagged sharks in the past and have done an outstanding job of tracking the fish as they migrate around the world seeking colder water and of course prey. Humans are not on the sharks menu, and most attacks are due to the sharks’ inability to differentiate a swimmer from, say, a sea lion or seal, which are both key components of the Great White shark’s diet.

The news of the attack comes on the heels of the spectacular footage of two Great Whites apparently attacking each other as they were both going after a bait line. The footage quickly went viral, once again proving the public’s fascination with the huge and sometimes dangerous beasts.

As science advances, along with the lightning speed of social media, Great White sharks and their actions–including attacks–will continue to be in the public eye. Officials close beaches, including those in Santa Barbara, simply as a precaution rather than treating it as if a monster is lurking in the water. After all, Great White Sharks are only animals in the wild, and swimmers are the ones willingly playing in that wild.

The three beaches outside Santa Barbara will remain closed for 72 hours and the Great White Shark who attacked the surfer has not been seen since.

{images courtesy of Al Seib/LA Times and Google]