Whether you are a first time surfer who just binge-watched shark week, or an avid surfer who never really questioned the fact that something bigger than you may be swimming around your local break, we wanted to post a little something about sharks in and around orange county beaches. First off, I would love to say sharks do not exist in Orange County, but I just cannot say that for a fact, especially after recent sightings. But what I do know on the matter is that not all sharks are dangerous, and odds are, you may have stepped on a sand shark or two in your life and have lived to tell the tale. In fact, the largest fish in the world is called a whale shark, and these are some of the most peaceful and mellow creature that you can encounter. And, to great delight, they slowly swim throughout the ocean with their mouths open wide filling up on plankton and krill. So there you go folks, the largest shark in the world prefers microscopic shrimp over you... what a relief! But I know you cannot help but think about the recent shark sightings/encounters here in Huntington Beach. Although nobody was injured, its nerve-racking to think about sharks in the water, but it really is unlikely that you will encounter a threating shark of this magnitude face to face.
What is our policy with shark sightings?
Being apart of the California State Park System, we have adopted and follow their process for shark sighting/encounter.In the case of a unconfirmed sighting ( just a beach-goer thinking that they may have saw something), the beaches remain open, and the lifeguards will then send trucks and possibly boats and helicopters to further investigate depending on the description given. In the case of a confirmed sighting (lifeguard, or other official title), vehicles will be dispatched to further investigate, and the water may be closed 1 mile in each direction for at least 24hrs; upon clearance, the beaches may open again the next day. In all situations, Salty Grom Surf Camp will remain open for normal business hours, and we have established multiple activities that will take place out of the water... So we follow the States lead, and because we are a partner with the State, we are among the first to know If something is going down. Although the government may work slower that molasses as a whole, I assure you that the workers at Bolsa Chica State Beach are on their game, and willing to put there lives on the line for every person on the beach.
What can we say to our kids who are a bit nervous about getting into the ocean?
- Talk to them about how sharks are a natural and necessary part of the eco-system.
- Research sharks together and discover all of the sharks that are non threating to humans, and build from there.
- Go to a local aquarium and learn, watch, and pet the different sharks and stingrays that are there.
Let's get some perspective:
- Between 1990 and 2006, 16 people died as a result of sand hole collapse, while 11 fatalities were attributed to shark attacks during the same time period.
- In the U.S., your chances of getting killed by lightning are 30 times greater than getting killed a shark attack.
- Your odds are better that you will die of a vending machine falling on you than by getting bit by a shark.
We are more than willing to talk about this topic over the phone or email if need be. We welcome all and any questions regarding safety, and will work to accommodate the most safe and practical procedures.
- Salty Grom Surf Camp Team