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Expert Says Shark Attacks Rare, Despite Marina Incident

Great Whites Known To Live In Central Coast Waters

POSTED: 4:43 pm PDT August 28, 2007
UPDATED: 7:52 am PDT August 29, 2007
Experts say humans aren't a shark's preferred prey, but the chances of running into an animal such as a great white get higher in fall and early winter.

On Tuesday, a surfer was in critical condition after a shark attack at a beach in Marina. It was unknown what kind of shark bit the surfer.

Sharks often frequent the waters off the Central Coast. They hang out in water where seals migrate, like Ano Nuevo.

"Great whites are curious animals and it seems more likely bites are just their way of figuring out what a surfer in a wetsuit really is," said Sean Van Sommeran of the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation.

Van Sommeran said shark attacks are a periodic unfortunate event, much like a wildlife park that has a bear attack, but that they are very rare.

Despite the shark attack in Marina, state beaches were filled with beachgoers on Tuesday. With Labor Day just around the corner, state park life guards said it's going to be business as usually at Santa Cruz County state park beaches.

Dan Perry, a state park peace officer and lifeguard, said authorities will stick with normal operations, where vehicle guards and tower guards would be watching the waters for signs of sharks.

Perry said they would shut down the beaches only if there's a confirmed shark sighting.

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