Here's my only 3 encounters and what I've done each time.
In Florida, at Sebastian Inlet, I had two encounters. Each time it was a smaller reef shark, I was told black tip, or white tip...can't remember which. Anyway, neither was huge, both in the 4-6' range. They zoomed in close to the surface, turned and swam right outside the lineup. Both times, I got out and took a break until they were gone (seemed to be gone). Locals, including my friend from Vero, just pulled up their feet and stayed in the water. They seemed unphased, I presume because it'snot all that uncommon. Both times the surf was really fun.
In NJ in September in the Mantoloking area, a much bigger shark was cruising just outside the lineup parallel with the beach. Some people were driving down the beach just ahead of it in a pickup honking and warning so surfers could get out. We all got out. Not sure of the type of shark, people were saying Thresher or Hammerhead, but it's dorsal and tail fin were out, and the distance between them was enough to make it scary. When it, and the truck leading it were a few hundred yards down the beach, me and two friends paddled back out. Most others either didn't go back out, or waited much longer. It felt sketchy, but it was 2'-4' offshore with these perfect little barrels. To have it without the crowd for a little while seemed worth it at the time
One of my friends couldn't surf for some reason, and caught the shark on video (not very exciting) but he also got some sweet footage of us. here's some frame grabs I took of myself just after the shark when we had it to ourselves. I'm thinking I made the right call :-)
View Poll Results: What would you do
- 67. You may not vote on this poll
Kept surfing in that spot
Walked down the beach to a new spot nearby
Sounded the alarm! and demanded everyone get out of the water
Results 11 to 20 of 76
Aug 18, 2014, 03:00 PM #11Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2010
Aug 18, 2014, 03:05 PM #12
Aug 18, 2014, 03:42 PM #13
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
- Hilton Head Island - OB, SD
Yeah, there needs to be more details in the initial Poll question. Where are you surfing. What kind of shark? How Big? How close? I have identified sharks on numerous occasions, but they were all little leopards, black tips etc. nothing over 5-6ft.. Nothing major, so I would say I wouldn't get out of the water, just lift my feet in that situation.
Seen a BIG shark, tiger in HI right after I got out of the water. It kinds had me sketched the rest of the trip. I was glad I didn't see it in the water. It was easily 10feet, maybe 12. There was a grom contest in the Harbor, not evern 800 yards away. No one seemed to care. But had I seen that thing in the water with me, I would have been out immediately. I don't care if they all thought I was a gringo kook, I would be waving my arms and letting the world know. Call me what you want, but I don't care how common that is for them, I think if other people know, they should at least let you make your own call.
I have been in the water in CA, where there was a HUGE white shark patrolling right on the other side of a jetty, and the guards didn't say anything to me. I know, it wasn't right next to me, but it had been spotted all up and down Mission and PB that morning, so I would have liked to have been educated about it, not seen pictures of it all over the net 2 hours later. I know nobody wants to spark panic, but man, if you KNOW that a big fish is patrolling the shallows, I think it's the best call to at least put a sign up. All the "Shark Sighting" signs on sunset cliffs were fake and hung up by surfers that were trying to clear the lineups. Funny, but not real.
Aug 18, 2014, 03:54 PM #14
Aug 18, 2014, 04:23 PM #15
99.9% of the time I just pull my hands and feet onto the board and wait a bit and then start surfing again when I've fooled myself into thinking he's gone (they're never gone). I have only gotten out of the water 2-3 times in my life due to a shark siting, every time I end up back in the water shortly after fooling myself again. Usually if I see something worthy of concern i'll quietly tell anybody who is nearby to just be aware, at least to clear my conscience in case anything were to happen to them and I knew there was one nearby, and to give them a chance to make their own decision. Most times people do as I do and just wait it out and continue on.
Aug 18, 2014, 04:27 PM #16Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2013
- Singer Island
It has alot to do with conditions. If it is full of bait fish, and I see a shark feeding in the ball of bait, which is heading my way, I'm out in a flash. Usually we see lots of spinners (black tips) and the water is clear and the sun overhead and they jump a few yards away, and everone lays prone and puts their feet up. then a set comes and you go, and don't fall, and paddle right back out.
Sometimes a bull shark will pop up and the end of the jetty, and if there a a few of us and the water is clear, we will stay out, as long as he doesn't come too close. If it is dawn or dusk,and only one or two of us out surfing, then if a big one is spotted, it is time to catch one in and wait for a few. If it is good, paddle back out.
If alone, and it is baity and sketchy, and murky, I'm ready to get out before I see a shark.
If I see a shark of any size cruising down the the beach, I will calmly jog down the beach and try to alert the swimmers, especially kids. Most of the time people look at me like I have 3 heads, then they see the shadow and run out of the water. I try to be all calm, like "you might want to get out, I just saw a shark heading along the beach", that way they don't panic and splash and flail. One day I might get drunk and run down the beach yelling "Shark" real loud just to see everyone run, but I'm not that bored yet.
Just one guys perspective who sees sharks all the time, from 3 foot spinners to 12 foot tigers and everything in between. Oh.. if you hear the Jaws theme in your head, it is probably time to get out.
Aug 18, 2014, 04:32 PM #17
So when I was 14 I flew with my pops from Myrtle Beach to Ocean Isle NC. His buddy was a pilot and owned a small 6 man twin prop plane. We flew along the coast line for a portion of the way. I still remember seeing around 8-12 shadows from 4-8 ft long. These were all within 100 ft to 100 yards from the swimers and surfers each time I saw one.
Aug 18, 2014, 07:00 PM #18Junior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2012
Good to know I did about what everyone else would do.
To clear up the poll question. I meant that you see a shark of significant size, close by. Doesn't have to be feeding though.
Aug 18, 2014, 08:59 PM #19
I wouldn't be afraid of anything but a great white.well im probably bsing,never actually seen any kind of shark,praise allah,but iv been watchin shark week and I seen some great whites that would keep me out the water forever.i figure a regular shark,hammerhead,small tiger,blue shark,mako will take a bite out of ur leg,but a great white will split u in 2.i look at sharks like they are the dogs of the sea.best thing is to not get on their radar,but if they are hungry u really have no chance.
so if I seen a shark before I paddled out,depending on waves,i would go home
Aug 18, 2014, 10:34 PM #20