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Shark Attacks

January 30, 1989 | DAVID FREED, Times Staff Writer
The Ventura County coroner said Sunday that a young woman whose body was found floating in the ocean near Ventura may have been the victim of an extremely rare shark attack, possibly the first such fatality in California waters in four years. The body of the unidentified woman, believed to be a windsurfer, was spotted Saturday about six miles off Channel Islands Harbor by the crew of a sailboat, Coroner Warren Lovell said. Crew members of a Coast Guard vessel retrieved the body.
April 8, 2004 | From Associated Press
A surfer was killed Wednesday morning in a shark attack off western Maui, the first confirmed fatal attack in Hawaii in nearly 12 years, police said. Willis McInnis, 57, was helped out of the water, but died on the shore despite rescue efforts by beachgoers, police and paramedics. He was bitten in the leg and suffered severe blood loss, police Capt. Charles Hirata said. He said the bite on McInnis was 12 to 14 inches wide, indicating that it was probably a large shark.
September 4, 1989 | TINA DAUNT and EDWARD J. BOYER, Times Staff Writers
A blue shark attacked an underwater cameraman while he was filming a documentary on sharks off Santa Barbara Island on Sunday, biting the man's left forearm and right hand, authorities said. Larry Stroup, 46, was working in scuba gear and had left a protective cage when he was attacked, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said. He was diving 10 miles northwest of the island, located about 25 miles west of Santa Catalina Island.
There's an inevitable aftermath to an encounter with a shark off the California coast: an encounter with insurance salesman Ralph S. Collier. No, he's not selling shark bite coverage, but rather collecting data on the attacks. For more than 30 years, Collier has been a weekend warrior of the shark expert set, rushing out to record firsthand accounts, interview beach-front witnesses, examine bite marks and read autopsy results. Collier, of Canoga Park, does not have a biology degree.
As beach-goers warily eye East Coast waters where shark attacks claimed three more victims over the Labor Day weekend, a critic of government regulation has caused a stir by arguing that tighter limits on shark fishing may be one factor behind such attacks. Shark experts call the arguments of author Sean Paige "baloney" and note that there have been fewer shark attacks this year than last.
May 10, 2005 | Deborah Sullivan Brennan, Special to The Times
One morning last June, Kelly French of Laguna Beach paddled among dolphins in glassy water near San Onofre as he waited on sun-flecked swells to ride a wave. Instead, he met a surfer's worst nightmare. From the deep, a 9-foot white shark surfaced about 20 yards away. French swung his legs up and clung to his board as the fish charged him. "I was in shock that I was seeing that large a shark in my favorite surfing spot," he says.
August 20, 2003 | Sally Ann Connell and Kenneth R. Weiss, Special to The Times
A 50-year-old woman died when a shark attacked her as she swam with seals Tuesday morning near the pier of this tiny beach town near San Luis Obispo, authorities said. Deborah Franzman of Nipomo, Calif., was swimming as she did several times a week near some buoys about 75 yards offshore when the rare attack occurred about 8:20 a.m. "The water was full of blood," said Antonio Neotti, 15, an aspiring lifeguard who watched four lifeguards swim through the surf to rescue her.
March 9, 1994 | PETE THOMAS
Shark attacks are nothing new in Hawaii. Tiger sharks have been tangling with wave riders for as long as anyone can recall. George Balazs, a National Marine Fisheries Service biologist and sea turtle expert, using several sources, has compiled a list of more than 100 attacks--most of them on surfers--dating to 1779, when a young male was gashed on the buttocks after being pursued while surfing. He later suffered "great pain" and died.
June 19, 2008 | Pete Thomas, Times Staff Writer
ZIHUATANEJO, Mexico -- Bruce Grimes gingerly clenches his stitched right hand, asserting as best he can that he was accompanied by angels the morning a large bull shark chomped "softly" on his arm as he paddled his surfboard. "I could feel the inside of its mouth with my hand," he says while sitting on a small wooden stool inside his downtown surf shop. "It was steely, all hard inside, like a bear trap." Grimes was sitting with his legs in the water when the predator nudged his board.
When Hong Kong real-estate powerhouse Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. was planning the $400-million resort that opened in December on Grand Bahama Island, senior management knew that it was entering a competitive market filled with potential pitfalls. But General Manager Eric Waldburger conceded Wednesday that no one foresaw the tale of the Wall Street banker and the shark, nor the major damage-control operation Our Lucaya Beach & Golf Resort had to mount this week after its guest was attacked offshore.
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