Warning Issued From Helicopter: You Are Next to 15 Great Whites

Paddle-boarders were advised to leave water calmly in California
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 12, 2017 2:37 AM CDT

A sheriff's helicopter crew warned a group of paddle-boarders to get out of the ocean after spotting more than a dozen great white sharks along the Southern California coast. Video posted online by the Orange County Sheriff's Department shows a school of sharks swimming near several people in the water Wednesday at Dana Point, the AP reports. "You are paddle-boarding next to approximately 15 great white sharks," Deputy Brian Stockbridge announced over the helicopter loudspeaker to people in the water. "They are advising you exit the water in a calm manner. The sharks are as close as the surfline."

Advisories were posted for beaches up and down Southern California after shark sightings this week—including at San Onofre State Beach, where a woman was bitten by a shark April 29. She is recovering from wounds to part of her upper thigh. Sightings are not uncommon along the coast, but attacks are rare. Fire Capt. Cameron Abel of the Marine Safety Unit in Long Beach says the increase in shark sightings is similar to an influx seen at this time last year. Marine safety officials attribute the activity to a "thriving aquatic ecosystem" in the area and estimate that 10 to 20 juvenile sharks swam near Long Beach daily. (This father-daughter surf outing turned tragic last month.)

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