Shark Week Gets Real: Huntington Beach Waters Closed After Shark 'Bumps' Surfer
The waters off Huntington Beach are currently closed to swimmers and surfers after a surfer had a close encounter with a great white shark.The waters between Beach Boulevard and the Huntington Beach Pier will remain closed from now until 8 a.m. on Saturday after lifeguards say a great white shark "bumped" a surfer on Friday morning. Around 8:45 a.m., a surfer reported the encounter, telling lifeguards the animal was about 7-feet long. Authorities deemed the report "credible" and immediately closed the waters. "The 'bump' meets the criteria for aggressive behavior, and with that our protocols call for a precautionary closure of the water for one mile in both directions," Huntington Beach spokeswoman Julie Toledo told CBS Los Angeles.
According to the L.A. Times, it is the first time the Huntington Fire Department’s Marine Patrol has ever closed the waters to the public. People are still allowed on the beach, where no land sharks have been spotted. Yet.
Shark attacks in California are very rare, and the closure comes days after a Stanford study was released, saying that the risk of shark attacks in California has dropped 91% since 1950, perhaps due to a drop in their populations and an uptick in seal populations, their favorite prey.