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Lifeguards Advise Beachgoers of Great White Sharks

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In light of a recent viral video of a great white shark caught off the Orange County coast and other sightings seen in La Jolla and Pacific Palisades, lifeguards throughout Southern California are cautioning beachgoers at local beaches. But is there really cause for concern?

"While I’m not going to lie and say that a 15′ white shark doesn’t give me a little quiver in my belly, the analytical part of my brain isn’t worried," writes La Jolla area resident and Miriam Goldstein at Deep Sea News. She cites a Scripps Institute of Oceanography researcher who says there are an average of four to six fatal shark attacks worldwide annually.

Additionally, just because you don't see sharks doesn't mean they're there. "Southern California’s marine topography is similar to the land’s topography - rugged and split by narrow, deep canyons. There are probably always white sharks hanging out in those canyons," said Goldstein, who is a doctoral student at the Scripps. "Seeing a few sharks doesn’t mean that attacks are imminent - though I will continue to do my best not to look like a seal."

Quoting the same Scripps researcher, he tells the LA Times that “It's cliche, but it's true that you have more of a chance of being killed on a freeway on the way to the beach than being killed by a shark at the beach."