SANTA CRUZ (KPIX 5) — A great white shark was spotted off the coast of Santa Cruz.

A lifeguard saw the shark about 250 yards off Cowell Beach on Saturday. A swimmer who was in the area also saw the shark.

“I was pretty nervous,” said surfer Cole Sandman. “But it’s their beach. There’s nothing really you can do about it.”

The lifeguard couldn’t verify how long the shark was, but said he could see a tail thrashing and its head breaching the water.

Warning signs were posted, but authorities say the risk to swimmers is low. They say sharks are more interested in seals, sea lions and fish than people.

“There are a large number of seals in the area along with numerous schools of bait fish,” said Santa Cruz Fire Department Battalion Chief Mike Venezio. He told the Santa Jose Mercury News that may explain the shark’s presence.

There has never been a fatal shark attack in Santa Cruz County. The last one in Monterey County was 34 years ago.

Comments (2)