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Swimmer awareness is crucial as shark populations in California increase

Janice R. Littlejohn

EMTs closed off the Manhattan Beach Pier following a shark attack on Saturday, July 5, 2014.

You might've heard by now that there was a shark attack off the coast of Manhattan Beach, just South of L.A., yesterday. It's been reported that a shark had been hooked by a fisherman on the pier, was agitated and bit swimmer Steven Robles as he passed by.

Luckily, Steven Robles survived, as he was pulled from the water by other swimmers, and a paddle boarder.

Shark expert Chris Lowe said that he was surprised.

"Shark incidents with people are rare..." said Lowe. "So, I mean your chances of being killed driving to the beach so far exceed your chances of being bitten by a shark. It's almost crazy to worry about."

Lowe is with Cal State Long Beach's Shark Lab, and he notes that great white shark population is actually on the rise.

"As the shark population grows, these sorts of possibilities are going to increase," said Lowe.  "Basically, we have to have people get used to being in the water with big marine animals again."

In the audio, Deepa Fernandes speaks with Chris about the dangers of swimming around those who are fishing, why this happened and what it means that the shark bit and released the swimmer, rather than hanging on to kill him.


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