A marathon swimmer trying to reach the Farallon Islands from the Golden Gate Bridge was forced to abandon his attempt earlier this week after he attracted the unwanted attention of a great white shark.
Corte Madera swimmer Simon Dominguez attempted the feat on Wednesday, according to the New York Post, undertaking an effort that would have seen him swim 28 miles. After spending 18 hours in the ocean, reaching a distance of just three and a half miles from his goal, Dominguez was forced to suspend the attempt when his daughter, who was in a nearby support boat, spotted the white shark.
A great white shark re-entering after a partial breach. Photo by George Probst. pic.twitter.com/jFlyp1t6eT
— Wild Animals (@OutOfWild) July 24, 2015
The shark, which measured between 12- to 15-feet-long, was circling the swimmer, prompting the decision to immediately pull him from the water. Though Dominguez, who was born in Australia, was reluctant to give up his goal, he acknowledged that the danger of the white shark couldn’t be ignored.
“Apparently it was swimming around me and then it started moving straight toward me and that’s when I thought it was probably a good idea to get out of the water. It was hard in that I really wanted to finish the swim, but a shark’s a shark.”
The 49-year-old athlete says he is unsure whether he will try the undertaking again, as the Guardian reports. In the past, four swimmers have made the trip from the Farallons to San Francisco, but Dominguez was attempting to be the first to accomplish the feat in the opposite direction.
Sharks are hardly an unknown presence in the Farallons. The area is a breeding ground for the species, reputed for attracting some of the largest great whites in the world, which can measure up to 19-feet-long. Researchers have focused on the white shark population in the past, tagging the animals and observing their habits in the region, as the Inquisitr previously reported. Scientists have even been able to observe interactions between the sharks and other predators, including orcas, in the area surrounding the islands.
— Discovery (@Discovery) July 29, 2015
Dominguez’s training partner, Kim Chambers, plans to attempt the same swim next week. If she succeeds, despite the presence of the great white sharks, she will become the first woman to make the trip in either direction.
[Photo by Ryan Pierse / Getty Images]