Sunday, April 27, 2008

[shark attack] what did he expect

The KNBC-TV story, as reported, is pretty rambling and i have no link as it was e-mailed to me:
Dr. Dave Martin, a 66-year-old retired veterinarian, [was one of a] group of nine swimmers [who] entered the water near Fletcher Cove, off San Diego, in an area known as Table Tops, at about 7 a.m. for a morning ocean swim, according to Lt. Mike Cea of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. They swam northward, and while they were swimming, Martin was attacked by a shark.

Because of the form of the attack and Martin's wounds, the shark was almost certainly a white shark, according to Prof. Richard Rosenblatt, a shark expert at Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla. He estimated the fish to be 12 to 17 feet long.

Witness said that Martin was lifted from the water by the shark. White sharks normally feed on seals, attacking from below with a powerful bite. The white shark ranges from north of San Francisco to the Gulf of California, so it is not unusual for them to be in the San Diego area.

Piecing it together, it seems the shark might have mistaken him for a seal and the fact that it bit him, harried him then let him go suggests it realized its mistake and then went off for seals. I should have thought the unusual presence of sea-lions in the area would have given them pause before they swam out but no - they were part of a triathlon club and seemed to know the ropes.

Here is an article on "Shark Dives" in the San Diego area which shows that the possibility of sharks in the area is at least substantial. Another thing which puzzles me is the board riders who went out the next day after the attack. Here is a list of sharks indigenous to the waters off California - another reason it didn't seem too bright an idea to venture out unprotected.

Finally is the nonchalant [or was it tongue in cheek] comment by one blogger:

San Diego beaches will probably be not-so-popular for a while.

For a while.



Nunyaa said...

The oceans are a sharks domain, you enter and you are then in his territory. I seen on news where they aer searching for the shark, how will they know exactly which shark it was cos it didn't bite off his leg, just badly mauled it. Think it would be very sad if the shark was killed.

Semaj Mahgih said...

Yep - the shark is in the right on this.

oestrebunny said...

I'm always baffled by these people who seem to be surprised when shark attacks - or any animal attacks, occur.

If you're in they're territory and you look like food, you're food.

CherryPie said...

I agree Bunny on this.

jmb said...

I always avoided swimming in the ocean because a friend's father was taken by a shark when I was a very young child. The sound of the shark bell at the beach is a very ominous thing. I wonder if they still do that.

Colin Campbell said...

I always tell the kids that the easiest way to avoid shark attacks is to not swim in the sea. I do let them go up to their waste. We have shark attacks along the beaches in Adelaide from time to time. Shark attacks are one of my own worst nightmares, so the only swimming I do is in our pool. I think I am safe there.

Semaj Mahgih said...

Maybe, Colin ... da, da, da.

Charles said...

Just surfed in through Technorati. Have you heard anything about that SD surfer whose body was recovered up in Ventura County yesterday? I'm curious if it's another shark attack but so far the coroner hasn't said anything...

By the way, I totally use a mask 100% of the time when I surface swim. It slows me down a little, but the fins make up for that. Why fins? Because the first time I saw a shark swim underneath me I completely lost it and couldn't even remember how to stroke properly.

And that was only a leopard shark about nine foot long. Still freaked me out.

I think you and I might be the only few people in SoCal who realize they're part of the food chain once they hit the water.

Oh - one other thing. Not like I would have had the presence of mind to do this while a frikkin 18 foot prehistoric MONSTER was powering up for another go in water chummed with one of my swim pack buddies, but if they would have used his wetsuit as a tourniqet (I SUCK at spelling today) then he might not have bled out.

Not like I'm Monday morning quarterbacking or anything - if a leopard shark scared me so bad I couldn't swim straight, a Great White would have had me chumming the water with the brown stuff.

Lil Jimmy said...

That tourniquet idea is pretty nifty, yo.