UPDATE, 6:58 p.m. Undeterred by the appearance of the man-in-white, several surfers paddled back out, including shark attack survivor Scott Stephens, who mostly shrugged the situation off.
“It was hard to relax,” he noted.
Less than three days after a spearfisher was chased out of the water near the North Jetty, the “landlord” has again come a-callin’.
“Shallow water with good visibility. Jetty. Came thru the pack, circled thru again and squared off with the heaviest surfer,” says our source. “No party fouls.”
Curious about Pacific Coast shark encounter statistics? The Shark Research Committee is the place to go – the 2015 list notes the above-mentioned report, plus two SoCal incidents. It should be noted that cases of sharks bothering humans continue to be fairly rare along the Pacific coast – since 1900, only 154 unprovoked attacks have been documented. In the past 60 years, only 13 have been fatal, with the two most recent occuring in Octobers (aka “Sharktober”) of 2010 and 2012.
Of course, some years are busier than others, and Humboldt’s reputation for sharky waters is much deserved.
That said, here’s two perspective-providing facts: 1.) As a species, we’re perpetuating far more damage on sharks than they are on us; 2.) You can avoid sharks real easily, but Humboldt County might nonetheless kill you dead.