A Northern California-based scientist told media Monday that he captured drone footage of a great white shark peacefully circling a kayaker in Monterey Bay, California, the same day Santa Cruz shaper Ben Kelly was killed in a shark attack a mere five miles away, west of Watsonville.
This shark appears to be peacefully checking out the kayak and there was no incident. Giancarlo Thomae, whose Instagram profile lists him as a “UC Santa Cruz Marine Biologist, Naturalist, and Conservationist,” captured video of the incident and said he’s seen a resurgence of the big fish in the area. Anecdotal evidence has been similar up and down the California coast with more shark sightings in Southern California as well. A woman was attacked near San Onofre State Park at a break known as “Church” in 2017, tearing off the back hamstring area of her leg.
Shark attack fatalities are extremely rare. Until Saturday, Northern California hadn’t had a deadly incident since 2004 when an abalone diver was attacked and killed near Kibeseliah Rock in Mendocino County. The last deadly attacks in Southern California occurred at Surf Beach in Santa Barbara where a surfer was killed in 2012 and a boogie boarder in 2010. A triathlete on a training swim was killed in North San Diego County in 2008.