Jan 8th 2018
On a cold Tuesday morning in Los Osos California, surfer Nick Wapner was attacked by a great white shark. The shark coming from behind and getting Wapners board and even a leg in his mouth before letting go.
Wapner was extremely lucky with this shark attack as he only suffered a few lacerations requiring 50 stitches. It could have been a lot worse.
The shark attack comes just a couple of weeks after a customer showed me a video from a boat just off Montana De Oro, in which a man was baiting sharks into biting a decoy seal just off of the Diablo Nuclear plant. This guy had 7 great white sharks circling his boat and this is only a couple miles from where this attack happened. Since this attack I have talked with the harbor patrol and they confirmed that a guy had been down off Montana De Oro baiting sharks for some kind of tagging or research.
My problem with this happening is that if you are teaching sharks to bite decoys of seals and chumming to get more sharks into the area for your "research" you are in essence bringing sharks in closer than they may usually be and also teaching them to bite on things that "look" like a seal that may not actually have all the characteristics they innately go for. You are almost causing a frenzied state for these great whites.
I am not saying that this is the cause of this attack, but it does seem odd to coincide with the area that this research was going on and where the shark attack occurred.
Los Osos is now the new mecca for great White shark attacks in California, this is the same place where local surfer Kevin Swanson was attacked by a shark and also luckily survived, albeit with a huge chunk taken from his leg. Luckily there was a doctor that happend to be on the beach for Kevin's shark attack and the chunk of flesh from the shark bite was able to be sewn back onto his thigh.
Here is the video from December 28th 2014 of Kevin's friend who was surfing with him showing the damage to Kevin's board...
It is interesting to note that these attacks happened at very similar times of the year Dec 28th and Jan 8th respectively 2014 and 2019
All in all, I am glad that both of these guys are ok! Growing up surfing in the area (I did go for a surf after hearing about this recent attack) I definitely feel more vulnerable now that so many attacks are happening in our area. Maybe we need to look into the research practices of the man baiting the sharks closer to where we all love to surf and play in the ocean.
Link to our INSTAGRAM page post on the Shark attack.
Link to Nick Wapners Instagram
Links to more articles