A trio of fishermen in California recently encountered a great white shark, finding themselves startled by the predator as it bumped into their boat and then circled the vessel as they filmed it.
The group were fishing for lingcod off Franklin Point near Santa Cruz, according to Shark Attack News, when their boat was struck by the great white. The shark was between 12 to 14 feet in length, revealed when one of the fishermen, believed to be Matt Mitchell, submerged his camera alongside the boat. The footage depicts the white shark circling their boat, as the videographer expresses his excitement at the encounter.
“We got the footage of a whitey… we finally got it!” he exclaims.
As the exuberant fisherman moves around the boat, catching more footage of the great white as it circles them, his shipmates become concerned about his actions. At one point, one of them can be heard warning him that the shark is close, and telling him to remove his hands from the water. As he excitedly continues capturing images of the white shark, his friends caution him against rocking their boat.
White sharks are no strangers to the waters off California, particularly this year. As the Inquisitr has previously reported, four attacks attributed to great whites occurred off the California coastline in October. The attacks were centered around the area surrounding Santa Barbara, with one incident taking place near Vandenburg Air Force Base. While the attacks involved several kayakers and a surfer, none of them reported any serious injuries after their encounters with the white sharks.
Great White Shark, Guadalupe Island, Mexico. Photo by Thomas P. Peschak. pic.twitter.com/P0fgE5yCL3
— Earth Pics (@ThatsOurEarth) November 14, 2014
Shark attacks are a relatively rare occurrence along the Pacific Coast, as the Daily Mail reported while covering the fourth attack. Only 39 incidents were reported in California between 2001 and 2013, just five of which resulted in fatalities. The last deadly attack in California occurred in 2012, when 39-year-old Francisco Javier Solorio Jr. was struck and killed by a great white.
— Imperiled Oceans (@ImperiledOceans) October 28, 2014
Since the 1970s, scientists have known that great whites congregate near seal rookeries off the California coast between August and February. The Farallon Islands and Año Nuevo Island are particular hotspots for white sharks, as Tagging of Pelagic Predators observes. During these months, juvenile elephant seals frequent Año Nuevo. Often naive to the threat white sharks pose, the young seals can prove to be easy prey for the sharks.
[Image: Matt Mitchell via Shark Attack News]