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MarieSam

Great White Kills Man in San Diego ~ Eeek!!

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Ok, so this somehow always happens just a few weeks before I'm about to go somewhere tropical where I know I will be doing a lot of swimming or snorkeling ~ either it's "Shark Week" on Animal Planet or the Discovery Channel so I watch every episode till I become overly paranoid OR there's a shark attack....... wtf.gif

 

Here's a story my San Diego counterpart at work wrote today:

 

SOLANA BEACH (CNS) - A 66-year-old man swimming with a group of fitness aficionados was attacked and killed by a shark off a North County beach today in the first fatal shark attack in the San Diego area in at least 14 years.

Retired veterinarian David Martin of Solana Beach was about 150 yards offshore, just north of Fletcher Cove, when he was attacked -- apparently by a great white shark -- shortly after 7 a.m., according to city officials.

Martin's friends heard him screaming for help and assisted him back to shore, lifeguard Capt. Craig Miller said.

The victim, who had suffered extensive leg wounds, was pronounced dead at a nearby lifeguard station about an hour later.

Authorities described the deadly attack as a highly unusual occurrence.

``This is something that is unheard of, especially in this area,'' Miller said.

Martin and the eight people he was swimming with -- all of them members of a local triathlon club -- were wearing full wet suits, according to Solana Beach Deputy Fire Chief Dismas Abelman.

Crisis counselors were called in to offer assistance to Martin's ``emotionally distraught'' companions, sheriff's Sgt. Randy Webb said.

The fatality prompted authorities to close several North County beaches and issue a 72-hour water-safety advisory for shoreline areas from Torrey Pines to South Carlsbad State Beach.

``We are all shocked and dismayed at the event that happened here this morning,'' Solana Beach Mayor Joe Kellejian said during a midday briefing at Fletcher Cove.

Kellejian urged beachgoers to heed authorities' warnings in the wake of the fatality.

``I want to implore everybody to please stay out of the water,'' he said.

The animal that killed Martin almost certainly was a great white shark, one measuring from 12 to 17 feet in length, said Richard Rosenblatt, professor emeritus of marine biology at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

``I was told the victim was pushed up out of the water in a violent attack,'' Rosenblatt told reporters.

Such a method of attack is ``typical great-white behavior,'' Rosenblatt noted, adding that the victim's wounds were ``really quite clean and massive.''

The shark probably took the group of swimmers to be seals or other sea mammals, Rosenblatt said.

``We think it's mistaken identity,'' he said.

The water where the attack occurred was about 25 feet deep, with a sandy bottom, officials said.

The U.S. Coast Guard sent a helicopter to the area to aid in efforts to find the animal that attacked Martin. The oceanography professor, however, called the odds of finding it ``pretty slim.''

Though great whites do not live off the San Diego-area coast on a permanent basis, they do pass through the area on their regular migrations, Rosenblatt said. Local attacks on people, however, happen very infrequently, he added.

The last shark fatality in the San Diego area may have occurred off the coast of Sunset Cliffs in April 1994, when a woman's badly disfigured body washed ashore.

The county Medical Examiner's Office ruled that 25-year-old Michelle Von Emster died of a shark attack. Some experts believe, however, that she might have drowned before sharks found and fed on her body, Rosenblatt said.

Prior to that incident, the most recent recorded shark death in San Diego County occurred in the La Jolla area in 1959, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History's Shark File.

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omg. this is why i am afraid to swim in the ocean! haha. i once got nibbled by a smallish nurse shark at laguna beach as a kid and have been afraid of ocean swimming ever since.

 

(btw, glad to see another journalist on here!)

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I'm freakin terrified of sharks. I wouldn't go in the ocean forever my first time in Mx. This time I did but I had the damn sharks in the back of my mind the whole time.

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Originally Posted by Maura View Post
omg. this is why i am afraid to swim in the ocean! haha. i once got nibbled by a smallish nurse shark at laguna beach as a kid and have been afraid of ocean swimming ever since.

(btw, glad to see another journalist on here!)
A minow tried to bite a freckle off my leg & I went screaming out of the water. The ocean scares me too. I get in anyway, but it takes me a while to relax. And if I feel anything nibble i get freaked out.

I haven't been snorkeling, but I'm going while we are in RM. I'm actually pretty scared. I think I'm afraid of fish. I get chills when I watch underwater nature shows. I'm also scared just seeing a picture of a whale. But, it makes me really want to go whale watching.

Like this, gives me goosebumps:
Click the image to open in full size.

And I've watched this video so many times & it still freaks me out
Killer Whale and Kayak - AOL Video

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Dude Morgan when you go snorkeling those fish are all up on ya! I nearly drowned a few times because one would hit me and I would start to scream. So freakin weird.

 

My dad was kayaking in PV one year and he said a whale breached not to far from him. Scary indeed!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maura View Post
omg. this is why i am afraid to swim in the ocean! haha. i once got nibbled by a smallish nurse shark at laguna beach as a kid and have been afraid of ocean swimming ever since.

(btw, glad to see another journalist on here!)
goodness Maura, if anything remotely related to a shark nibbled any part of my body, I don't think I could go back into the water again ~ and I love the ocean!!!!

YAY ~ a fellow journalist!! smile159.gif Mind me asking, what type of work do you do?

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Originally Posted by msam007562 View Post
goodness Maura, if anything remotely related to a shark nibbled any part of my body, I don't think I could go back into the water again ~ and I love the ocean!!!!

YAY ~ a fellow journalist!! smile159.gif Mind me asking, what type of work do you do?
omg it was like a 2.5 ft baby nurse shark and you know those really dont have big teeth or anything so it was like gumming my ankles, but i totally flipped out screaming bloody murder. it was in about 3 ft of water. i didnt go back in the ocean for years after. morgan, unlike you i love the photos of whales and fish, but i am so terrified to go snorkeling but everyone tells me i have to do it. i am really afraid of fish bumping me. especially because i am allergic to fish, and i dont know if them touching me underwater would produce the same results as if i touched them above water (which is rash and sometimes hives, labored breathing etc). i cant go near fish being made as food, even fish gut juice or anything makes me really sick with a rash. i guess i should really talk to my doc about that before going!

marie -- i work for a very well-known business trade mag based in NY but i work in the chicago bureau. i can PM you a little more info if you're interested cheesy.gif

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maura View Post
omg it was like a 2.5 ft baby nurse shark and you know those really dont have big teeth or anything so it was like gumming my ankles, but i totally flipped out screaming bloody murder. it was in about 3 ft of water. i didnt go back in the ocean for years after. morgan, unlike you i love the photos of whales and fish, but i am so terrified to go snorkeling but everyone tells me i have to do it. i am really afraid of fish bumping me. especially because i am allergic to fish, and i dont know if them touching me underwater would produce the same results as if i touched them above water (which is rash and sometimes hives, labored breathing etc). i cant go near fish being made as food, even fish gut juice or anything makes me really sick with a rash. i guess i should really talk to my doc about that before going!

marie -- i work for a very well-known business trade mag based in NY but i work in the chicago bureau. i can PM you a little more info if you're interested cheesy.gif

It's sort of weird. They terrify me, so I love looking at pictures of whales. Maybe it's like people loving the thrill of a rollercoaster. I get my thrills easy :)

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