5 Shark Sightings within 12 Days at Ocean Beach, San Francisco, CA

Ocean Beach – On August 10, 2005 Ren Volpe and a friend were surfing Ocean Beach, slightly North of Sloat Blvd., San Francisco. It was foggy and windy with choppy sea conditions. Volpe recounted: “I was surfing with a friend at Sloat, Ocean Beach. It was 11:45 and we had been in the water about 45 minutes. Surf conditions were lousy: the wind had picked up and the waves were only waist high. I saw a fin out of the corner of my eye, and thought, ‘it’s only a dolphin.’ I turned around to get a better look and saw a grey fin, about 50-60 yards away, moving through the water. I have seen many dolphins while surfing, and this fin was not a dolphin fin. I shouted to my friend and we quickly paddled back to the beach.” This is the third encounter at this location in 4 days.

Ocean Beach – On August 9, 2005 Prashant Samant and a friend were surfing Ocean Beach, San Francisco. It was a pleasant day with little wind and a calm sea with 1-2 foot swells. They had been in the water about two hours and it was between 2 and 3 PM. Samant recalled: “We were 30-40 feet from the shore when I looked behind us and spotted the shark. The shark was grey, about 10 feet in length, and I could see its dorsal fin and tail about 15 feet behind us. We quickly paddled to shore. We looked back into the water form the beach and noticed it moving closer to the beach.”

Ocean Beach – On July 30, 2005 Elizabeth Silva was surfing Ocean Beach, San Francisco near the Sloat Blvd. break right off the bathrooms. It was 11 AM and she had been in the water about 5 minutes. There was a light fog that was beginning to clear with the surf 2-5 feet and “pretty clean lines.” The ocean floor is sandy at this location and about 8 feet deep. Elizabeth recalled: “I was surfing at Sloat, Ocean Beach, with 3 other male surfers. I was paddling for a wave, looked behind me to see if anyone else was going, and saw the fin behind the wave, so I pulled out of the wave, that is when I realized the other 3 men were yelling shark and paddling in. I followed them in. They got to the beach first and said that they saw the entire body surface and swim slowly south for a few seconds before submerging. We did not see it again. Not a great way to spend my birthday!”

Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

(8/17/05)

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