Who says lightning, or sharks, don’t strike twice? The following report was provided courtesy of the Shark Research Committee:
Florence, OR — On October 28, 2010 Seth Mead and Gus Gates were surfing 75 yards from shore and about 100 yards from the North Jetty of the Siuslaw River at Florence, Oregon. It was 3:20 PM and they had been on the water 5–10 minutes. The sky was overcast with a light southeast breeze and an estimated air temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea was calm with a 4–6 foot swell over a sandy ocean bottom 15 feet deep with poor visibility and an estimated temperature of 54 degrees Fahrenheit. An undetermined number of Harbor Seals were observed near shore with one animal dead on the beach. Gates reported the following:
“I was paddling out on my surfboard to where my friend Seth was surfing, approximately 100 yards north of the North Jetty in Florence. I was watching him as he was paddling back out after catching a wave (his first and only after about 10 minutes in the water) from a distance of about 50 yards, all of the sudden I saw a bunch of commotion and a large grey dorsal fin and the shark’s tail out of the water next to Seth. A wave in between us blocked my view for an immediate second as I contemplated what I had just seen. When Seth reappeared he yelled, ‘paddle to the beach now!’ and we both paddled as hard as we could and caught a wave on our bellies. Seth was totally unharmed physically, minus the loss of a favorite surfboard. No rescue was needed, Seth was relieved that he was not hurt and wonders why sharks seem to like him so much. I told the Coast Guard officer who was on the beach about the encounter and asked that she notify others in the event that they might paddle out.”
Seth Mead was attacked, but uninjured, by a White Shark on 20 September 2004 while surfing at Gold Beach, Oregon. Additional information will be posted as it becomes available. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Photo: hermanusbackpackers (flickr)