The following report was provided by the Shark Research Committee: On September 2, 2009, Derek Bobbe was surfing at the north end of Pacifica State Beach, also known as Linda Mar Beach. It was 6:40 PM and he had been in the water 40 minutes. The sun was setting and the sky was partly cloudy with an estimated air temperature of 71°F. There was a light surface chop with small, disorganized 2–3 foot waves. Water depth was 5–7 feet with visibility of 4–5 feet and an estimated temperature of 55°F. A single pinniped was observed in the area 5–10 minutes prior to the encounter.
“I was surfing some small waves at North Linda Mar. There were four other surfers in my immediate area. The conditions were deteriorating as the tide was increasing. Shortly after a small set of waves arrived, one of the other surfers yelled, “Shark!” I figured he was probably joking or had seen a dolphin. However, 2–3 minutes later I was paddling to get past an outside wave of another set. At that point, I observed a shark briefly passing through a wave approximately 25 feet outside of me and diagonally towards the south. Another surfer was positioned near the peak of the wave and was only 3–10 feet from where the shark surfaced. The shark was moving parallel with the wave and had a prominent dorsal fin that was quite tall (approximately 2–2.5 feet). Due to the angle of the shark’s course, I could only see the front of its body, which was quite wide, and its dorsal fin. I think it was at least 6–8 feet long and perhaps longer. I observed the shark for 2–3 seconds and then lost sight of the shark as the wave crashed. After the wave crashed, I immediately turned around and paddled quickly, yet deliberately, towards the beach and did not panic. Two other surfers who introduced themselves as Luke and David (Luke was the one who had yelled “Shark!”) had already returned to the beach and described their encounter excitedly. Luke noted that the shark had passed closely to him and seemed to be following him before he yelled out. I later spoke with the third surfer (who had been close to the shark when I witnessed it) in the parking lot near Crespi and Highway 1. He had noticed the large dorsal fin surface near him. He also believed he had seen a large White Shark and that it moved in a deliberate, straight motion unlike a dolphin. He further noted that the shark was less than 10 feet from him when it surfaced. He too exited the water shortly after I did.”
Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Photo credit: Oskay