In two days, there have been three shark sightings off Santa Barbara area beaches. Of the three, two were near-attacks, one involving a kayaker and the other a paddleboarder.
On Thursday morning, at about 11:20 a.m., Brett Jackson, reportedly a Santa Barbara man, was paddling a quarter-mile offshore near Stearns Wharf when a large great white bit and punctured the kayak. Jackson jumped off and swam 30 yards to a boat. He was “shaken up but not injured,” reported Mick Kronman, the city’s harbormaster. The shark’s size is unclear, Kronman said, but he sent photos of the maimed, orange kayak to a shark expert.
Also on Thursday morning, a paddleboarder was a half-mile off the beach just east of Goleta when an eight-foot great white shark bit his board. He was not injured.
On Wednesday, a fisherman saw a 13-foot shark over the side of his boat about two-thirds of a mile straight off Leadbetter Cove.
Kronman explained that Harbor Patrol posted warning signs of shark encounters at the beaches. That means there aren’t lifeguards on duty, he noted. But the beaches, he said, are not closed. “Then folks on are their own,” he said. “We just do what we can to advise the public.”
On Wednesday evening, Nite Moves canceled the swim portion of its weekly race at Leadbetter due to sharks.
Kronman said, based on “purely anecdotal observations,” there have been a considerable number of shark sightings this summer. In Carpinteria, schools of small white sharks were spotted.