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14-Foot Great White Shark Spotted Off Santa Cruz County Coast

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A 14-foot-long great white shark was spotted off the coast of Aptos near Seascape and Rio Del Mar beaches on July 19, 2012. (Specialized Helicopters)

A 14-foot-long great white shark was spotted off the coast of Aptos near Seascape and Rio Del Mar beaches on July 19, 2012. (Specialized Helicopters)

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APTOS (CBS SF) — A 14-foot great white shark has been spotted off the coast of Aptos, according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies and California State Parks rangers said the shark was seen about 20 yards off the coast near the Seascape and Rio Del Mar beaches, and said it does not appear to be aggressive.

Fliers have been posted discouraging beachgoers from swimming or surfing in the area.

The sighting comes on the heels of an incident in which a shark attacked a kayak near Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz County the morning of July 7.

The kayaker, a 52-year-old Fremont man who was fishing about a quarter-mile from shore, fell out of the kayak but was rescued by a nearby boater and wasn’t injured.

He told the sheriff’s office he was in 40-foot-deep water near a kelp bed when the shark lifted up his kayak and attacked the front end.

The man estimated that the shark was 14 to 18 feet long but said he wasn’t sure what type of shark it was, according to the sheriff’s office.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman April Skalland said it is not clear whether the two sightings were of the same shark, but said it is likely that the shark that attacked the kayak was a great white.

“It sounds like a great white to me,” she said. “They are in our waters. They usually stay out past the kelp beds, but it’s not unusual for them to come closer in.”

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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