Lots of people who want to go on De Anza College Outdoor Club ocean trips say they are just too scared of sharks (even though they stand a much greater chance of dying from an accident in their own home than from a rare (rare!) California shark attack). To quit being paranoid about sharks go to:
The California Academy of Sciences website:
Advice to Swimmers, Surfers, Kayakers & Divers Concerning Sharks in California Waters
by John E. McCosker, PhD
He says: “The white shark is the only species in California that presents a significant danger to humans.”
“White shark attacks are not random. The Farallon Islands, Año Nuevo Island (San Mateo County), and Tomales Point and Bird Rock (Marin County) are particularly dangerous locations and should be avoided.”
The National Park Service Morning Report said:
From 1950 through 1999, an average of 2.1 shark attacks occurred per year along the California coast. Of the 106 attacks during this period, eleven were fatal.
look for Reducing the Risk:
· Advice to Aquatic Recreationists
· Advice to Divers
· Menstruation and Sharks
· Color of Apparel and Sharks
After the death of Deborah Franzman in August, 2003, the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper had an article with tips on how to avoid a great white shark attack.
“Along the West Coast, the areas known for the most sharks are Ano Nuevo, Bird Rock near Point Reyes and the Farallon Islands…
don’t swim with shark food – specifically sea lions or elephant seals. White sharks do not normally hunt humans – but their favorite food is sea lions.
Deborah B. Franzman, 50, was fatally attacked by a shark as she was swimming with sea lions just off Avila Beach pier. She was wearing a full-body wetsuit and fins.
If you are wearing a wetsuit and fins and you are swimming with sea lions, you are doing a clumsy job of imitating shark food.”
May, 2004: Bernard ‘Butch’ Connor, Jr. (wearing wetsuit, hood and booties) had a 14 to 18 foot Great White shark check him out, bump him, repeatedly thrash its tail and head, repeatedly circle (“I felt like I was in a boiling caldron. I was spinning like I was in a whirlpool.”) while out surfing in Bodega Bay. The beach, Salmon Creek Beach, has had four shark attacks in the past eight years. An article in the San Francisco Chronicle said “he plans to steer clear of Salmon Creek Beach for a while – roughly three to five days. ‘I love it too much,’ he said, ‘We’re all a bit nuts.'”
In 1990, in Florida there were 313 fatalities attributed to lightning and only four attributed to sharks. Thus, in Florida the death toll from lightning strikes as compared to shark bites is 78:1.
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