Home > Uncategorized > Humboldt #1 in shark attacks

Humboldt #1 in shark attacks

gaping_mawHumboldt County is due for a big one, and we’re not talking earthquakes.

Today’s Times-Standard cites a 2008 study by the Florida Museum of Natural History that found Humboldt County leads California counties is shark attacks.

The article includes a terrifying account of a 2004 shark attack near the North Jetty.  After Arcata’s Brian Kang suffered an initial strike by a great white, the shark returned.

The massive head rose up beneath his fragile foam surf board, its mouth open as wide as a trash can, filled with rows of white serrated teeth.

Kang said the shark moved slowly with eyes rolled back in its head as it made a “gumming” motion, investigating the air with its mouth.

In an effort to avoid falling into the gaping maw, Kang grabbed onto the shark’s nose to balance himself.

”I hit its nose with my left hand,” he said. “I really think by holding its nose it saved my life. That’s what the researchers think: It disoriented the shark. I held onto its nose for a while. I’m sure it was only a matter of seconds, but it feels like a lifetime.”

It’s been more than a year since a shark attack here, but the T-S says it’s rare for such a period to go by without an incident.

Surfers beware.

    January 12, 2009 at 10:03 am

    Maybe because the sharks understand that the food chain in Humboldt waters is much healthier than the food chain along other coastal county waters?


    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  2. Ed
    January 12, 2009 at 10:13 am

    Maybe the local water somehow gives sharks the munchies

  3. oldphart
    January 12, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Great white sharks, sea lions or humans in black wet suits, salmon = (sing along if you like) the circle of life.

  4. January 12, 2009 at 10:41 am

    No. It’s because of global warming.

  5. Da Man
    January 12, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Plus lots of yummy sea lions.

    January 12, 2009 at 10:43 am

    How about Global Cooling?

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  7. seal 'a meal
    January 12, 2009 at 10:51 am

    It is a factoidish that sharks can smell the thc content of surfer pee. Perhaps they are merely wishing to augment their natural supply of cannibinoids? Micturate as your own risk.

  8. Anonymous
    January 12, 2009 at 11:16 am

    I’m surprised there aren’t more shark-proof wetsuit products on the market.

    Here’s one about giving off an electrical field that bothers sharks.

    Why not a reflective suit (at least the under arms) or whatnot, anything to make you not look like a seal. Heck, maybe embed a few LEDs on the underside of the surf board.

  9. Anonymous
    January 12, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    You can blame George W. Bush for these damned shark attacks.

  10. Anonymous
    January 12, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Wait! There have been more shark attacks here than there have been Islamic terrorist attacks on the entire USA since September 12, 2001.

    Yes. Definitely, it is George W. Bush’s fault.

  11. HumboldtBlue
    January 12, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Sharks? No laser beams? How about a nun instead. Here’s Sister Mary Catherine re-entering the dating scene.

  12. Anony.Miss
    January 12, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    I think the water temp plus abundance of food make this place attractive. They really want the harbor seals, right?

  13. Ed
    January 12, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    I heard a theory that the presence of so many heavily silted rivers locally makes for such poor visibility in these waters, the sharks may mistakenly attack surfers. Makes sense one way, because there are more surfers down south (and plenty of pinnipeds) but clearer water and fewer attacks. Hey, another reason to blame Hurwitz!

  14. Gaping Ma
    January 12, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    tis the gaping maw of the wall street Great White Sharks that really scare me! the blood is everywhere and flowing.

  15. Kato
    January 12, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Grabbing a shark by the nose: that’s better than taking the bull by the horns!

  16. The Monitor
    January 12, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Where is a good dentist when you need one?

  17. January 12, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Isn’t their some kind of ethical prohibition against using the Times-Standard’s daily stories as the daily content of your blog?

  18. January 12, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Daily T-S stories are not the daily content of my blog. How dare you suggest such an offense.

    January 12, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    95% of California’s Riparian areas are gone. Native species of plants and trees which “bend but don’t necessarily break” are being replanted to help out the impacts from flooding. Chances are that many of the places outside Humboldt have much more in the way of silt build-up. We are fortunate compared to south state.

    Also, does the bend of the coastline from north, northwesterly to north, northeasterly have an affect on the food supply north of Cape Mendocino?

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  20. Ed
    January 12, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    yes Hench, but most of the water still falls north of Santa Rosa and from Humboldt to the Sac. R. drainage. The effects of our rain forest runoff outweigh the rest of Ca. when it comes to the duration of yearly turbidity.

  21. Voter
    January 12, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    It’s become hard not to notice how often the T-S has a story on an item that was first posted on the Herald! Keep up the good work Heraldo y Heralda.

  22. McKinleyvillan
    January 12, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    ah, so a news item about shark attack frequency turns to turbidity…are you bloggers in Public Relations or what?!

  23. Ed
    January 12, 2009 at 10:44 pm


  24. Dirk
    January 12, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    Somebody give that shark a breath mint!

    January 12, 2009 at 11:27 pm


    Is Sacramento the largest Metropolitan City in the country which would be most affected by a cataclysmic flood? True on the amounts of water in Northern California – hence the water distribution battles for irrigation. However, it would seem that the closer the water gets to the Sacramento Delta, the more silt would be intermixed since the farther south one goes, the more development one encounters.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  26. Ed
    January 12, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    we got six rivers and what? dozens of major streams in about 40 miles of coastline. I’m unaware of any other area in Ca. to compare with that.

  27. Regular Entrance User
    January 13, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Debating turbidity potential based on assumptions about silt buildup and precipitation is kind of silly…just go out in the water here and other spots south of here and observe. The water here is almost always very murky. The water south of Cape Mendocino rarely is. That’s why there’s virtually no scuba diving here but it’s a regular industry in and around Ft. Bragg.

    It is likely true that the increased turbidity contributes to more shark attacks though. The data are all the more striking when you consider how minuscule is the total number of surfer bodies in the water over the course of a year here vs. a lot of places down south. You probably have more total surfer hours logged in a week around Santa Cruz than you do in a couple of months around here. All you HSU freshman should take note!

  28. Al Zimer
    January 13, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Wull, I sorta remember that they dump an Aluminium compound into the drinking water to help with turbidity. Couldnt we just have a big alum feed system off the coast to save the surfers? Sure a few older sharks will go senile, but if it saves lives…

  29. Eric Kirk
    January 13, 2009 at 9:39 am

    Huh. I would have thought Monterey County was number 1.

  30. Tom Sebourn
    January 13, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Does anybody remember a song by “The Surf Punks called Shark Attack?
    I’ll see if i can get pete to play it on power96.3

  31. Ed
    January 13, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Does anyone remember Steve Martin’s rendition of Mack the Knife on S.N.L?

  32. January 13, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Oh, the shark bites
    with its teeth, yeah!
    And it keeps them.. pearly white!

    Here’s the transcript.

  33. Mr. Nice
    January 13, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    It is likely true that the increased turbidity contributes to more shark attacks though.

    That is absolutely true. If a great white cannot see what it detects electromagnetically, it will use its sense of biting. In clear water, it is very unlikely that a shark would bite a bag of bones surfer after visually recognizing that it was not a blubbery snack.

  34. Barnacleman
    January 13, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    What about the obese surfers?

  35. flatline
    January 13, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    ……it will use its sense of biting. Biting is not a sense.

  36. flatline
    January 13, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    Australia has some of the clearest water in the world and over the weekend there were TWO, count them TWO great white attacks. Did I mention over one weekend? Read it for yourself…


    So I guess the turbidity theory needs to be re-evaluated.

  37. flatline
  38. Ed
    January 13, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    one thing about Australia mate is it’s really big. If a bloke were to google earth to the sites of the shark attacks, one finds rain forests. G’day.

  39. January 17, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    What a thing to be #1 for.. Ouch!

  40. rich
    January 21, 2009 at 10:58 am

    I dont know where all these wise tails come from lol.Think of it this way.We are presenting our selves as top water bait.Great big mouth bass luar lol.The point is sharks have an abundance of food and sharks are veary smart if they are hungery it does not matter human or not your shark bait.If your going to surf moon stone,jetti or what not use your best judgment.is there birds out scavaging out past the break.Time of year.Did you notice that seal that was once playing around just dissapear?Follow your gut its usualy the one thing you should follow.I have had a big scare out on moon stone once.I think some thing was dead about a 1/4 mile off the beach.there was a bunch of birds and a helecopter huvering around so we got out for a bit,and after a while i went back out.I Noticed a huge shadow move across the sand bar.I dont know what it was may be a school of fish lol.but it was enouph to call it a day.

  41. Mo
    July 7, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Sharks are one of the scaryist things in the world.

  42. Anonymous
    July 7, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    So are Bass attacks

  43. joe
    September 26, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Humans are one of the scary-ist things in the world!

  44. June 15, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    Hi there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay.
    I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to
    new posts.

  45. Anonymous
    March 4, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    If you are foolish enough to put yourself in a situation where you become part of the food chain then you should expect to be on the menu of a Great White Shark whether or not you resemble a Sea Lion. They are predators that are out there along all areas of the North Coast patrolling foe an easy meal. Which do you think would be easier for a Great White to catch, a Sea Lion or surfer.

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