Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Map: All Fatal Shark Attacks in California Since 1900

(Photo by Mogens Trolle via Shutterstock)
LAist relies on your reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today.

Our nerves may be a little frayed after this weekend, when a female swimmer was attacked by a shark off Newport Beach. Maria Korcsmaros was training 150 yards offshore for an Ironman competition when she was bitten by a shark, reports the L.A. Times. Korcsmaros required surgery but did not sustain any life-threatening injuries.

If you need something to reaffirm your trust of the water, check out an interactive map that NBC 4 just put up. It shows all fatal shark attacks that have happened by the California coast since 1900. We count only 14 incidents in total, with two of them happening by the L.A. County. So hey, sharks aren't quite as menacing as popular culture make them seem.

Data from
The data was compiled through the Shark Research Institute. According to the Global Shark Attack File, which works in conjunction with the Shark Research Institute, "An 'attack' by a shark is an extremely rare event, even less likely than statistics suggest. When a shark bites a surfboard, leaving the surfer unharmed, it was historically recorded as an 'attack'."

In one of the two fatalities that happened by L.A. County, it was debated whether or not a shark-related death had actually occurred, according to the Shark Attack File. In the July 1952 event, 12 men were forced into the water after the motor for their fishing boat exploded. Three of the men were rescued. Of the deceased, one body was noted as being mutilated. It was unclear if the mutilations were sustained from the explosion or from shark attacks. It was reported that "some of those who survived the explosion were bitten by sharks," which lead some to believe that the mutilated body was the result of a shark attack.

Support for LAist comes from

Which means we only have ONE totally-confirmed shark-related fatality in the L.A. County during the past 100 or so years. As reported by the Telegraph, it'd be more worthwhile to worry about snakes, crocodiles, and hippopotami.