Swimmers in San Diego Uneasy But Unfazed by LA County Shark Attack

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    NEWSLETTERS

    After a swimmer was bitten by a shark over the Fourth of July weekend near the Manhattan Beach Pier, some have wondered about the chance of something similar happening in San Diego. NBC 7's Vanessa Herrera talked with local beachgoers about the prospect of getting into the water.

    After a swimmer was bitten by a shark over the Fourth of July weekend near the Manhattan Beach Pier, some have wondered about the chance of something similar happening in San Diego.

    One fisheries research biologist said there has been a larger number of sharks thanks to recent conservation efforts, but sightings at local beaches are rare.

    “There’s always going to be some associated risk,” biologist Heidi Dewar said. “Having said that, the risks are very, very small.”

    She said that when we do see great white sharks in San Diego, they're typically very young and feed off fish and squid.

    Dewar added that the threat of sharks is far less of a concern here than north of us, in Los Angeles County.

    "The type of habitat we have is sort of less ideal for baby white sharks or juvenile white sharks than farther north like Long Beach or Huntington Beach, or Ventura flats," Dewar said. "They really like big broad sandy areas and bays which we have less of down here."

    The shark attack Saturday morning of a 50-year-old Lomita man marked the first time in more than a century that someone’s been attacked by a shark in Los Angeles County. Steven Robles escaped with chest lacerations and broken artery in his thumb after spending 8 hours in a Harbor-UCLA Medical Center emergency room.

    Some swimmers we spoke to at La Jolla Cove on Monday said the situation made them feel a bit uneasy, though most seemed unfazed.

    One woman said the thought crossed her mind when she’s swimming, but didn’t prevent her from getting in the water.

    "You think about it. Especially when you're out there all by yourself and you're kind of looking around, it gets a little spooky,” said Murrieta resident Lisa Frick. “But I still do it."

    An avid surfer, Geoff Dukas, said he’s seen sharks on multiple occasions, which scares him.

    "I've seen sharks three different times when I've been out surfing and it was very scary but I know it's a very rare occurrence that there's a shark attack so it never prevented me from going back in the water,” he said.

    On the conservation side, Dewar described it as exciting that there’s a greater number of sharks.

    “I think we're seeing is really a success story. Where if we do put in the right regulations we can actually see populations rebound which is you know exciting that doing the right thing we can actually see recoveries.”

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