The International Shark Attack File (ISAF) has reported that there were 2785 unprovoked shark attacks that were confirmed between 1958 and 2016, out of which 439 were fatal. On average, 4.3 people die every year due to shark attacks. These massive boneless creatures have made their way not just to the underwater kingdom but even to myths like the Megalodon Sharks.
While survival from sharks is a thrill in movies, California saw a sad real-life experience where a man was taken underwater while with two other swimmers in Northern California on October 1, 2023.
On a bright Sunday morning, while swimming, his friends mention an alleged shark attack to the US Coast Guard near Wildcat Beach at Point Reyes National Seashore in Martin County. The Coast Guard Public Information Officer and the charge of the case, Grace Patton, spoke to Fox News on October 2, 2023, where he mentioned, “It was reported as a shark attack – we have not confirmed that,”
KPIX-TV reported, “When first responders with the Marin County Fire Department arrived at the scene, the two swimmers told them that they were about 25 to 50 yards from the shore when the man went under. They also told authorities they saw a large pool of blood in the water.” There has been a rescue mission, as per a report by The Mercury News, “The fire department and the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as the National Park Service and the Marin County Sheriff’s Office launched a search and rescue mission into the afternoon but had still not recovered the man’s body by late Sunday.”
There were many statements issued. Rachel Davis spoke to KPIX, “After searching 21 square nautical miles in ideal search conditions, we’ve been unsuccessful so far. The intent here is to continue the search,”
When Senior Captain Ben Ghisletta with the Marin County Fire Department spoke to KPIX on October 1, 2023 afternoon, he mentioned, “We went to a high point on the campground area above the beach. We were able to observe a good portion of the ocean from there. We had two people with binoculars overseeing the rescue.”
He also added further, “To my knowledge, yeah, this could be the first fatal shark attack (in the Marin County area). But we’re hopeful that he’ll be found,” reports CBS News. When asked to the authorities about the swimmer’s details, they have decided to keep it confidential but CBS News reports, “Authorities said the missing swimmer is approximately 50 years old. They did not release his name.They said the three swimmers were camping with a group of about 10 to 15 people above the beach in an area called Wildcat Campground.”
When asked about the chances of finding the individual, Chief Todd Overshiner with the Marin County Fire Department says, “The further amount of time, it decreases the chance of survivability,” reports CBS News. The media outlet also took bites from the people around and a hiker, Danielle Harnisch, mentions, “These waters are extremely dangerous and most locals know not to go for a swim. There’s either a huge drop-off, sharks, rip currents — very dangerous,”
People also reported that “Swimming is generally discouraged in the rough waters off the coast of Marin County, and shark attacks are rare, authorities said.” and the media outlets see a lack of information from the National Park Service’s end. This is not the first issue regarding sharks in the United States. Earlier in August 2023, a New York Beach was also shut down after a woman was attacked by a shark. So, while the waters might look calm and harmless, authorities need to ensure overall checks to ensure people’s safety.