SANTA CRUZ (KRON) — It has been a couple of days since a kayaker emerged unscathed after he was attacked by a shark in Santa Cruz, but that didn’t stop surfers.
People are even being told to stay out of the water until Saturday or they could face a fine.
The kayaker was attacked near Steamer Lane on West Cliff Drive on Tuesday.
But this happens to be one of the most popular surf breaks on the coast, and many a surfer is not about to let the threat of a ticket or the possibility there might be a shark lurking nearby keep them out of the water.
Thursday was Day 3 of a four-day ban on entering the water along a 1-mile stretch. Either side of Steamer Lane found dozens of surfers in the water.
Driving Highway 17 to get there is much more risky, says Matt Kurvin
“Everyone knows there is a pretty healthy great white shark population out here, but they usually stay outside the kelp line, and we surf inside the kelp line, so we feel relatively safe,” Kurvin said.
— @Rob Fladeboe kron4 (@KRON4RFladeboe) July 13, 2017
Indeed, the kayak, now sporting bite marks, was hit beyond the kelp line, but it was considered an aggressive action nonetheless.
In 30 years of surfing Steamers, Hamid Martin says he has never encountered a shark.
“They call it a predatory attack, but I see it more like a curiosity bump,” Martin said. “I’m not worried. I just send them so love.”
There were few, if any, swimmers in the water off nearby Cowell Beach, although KRON4 did see a few people on kayaks, and lots of surfers there too.
As he just gave his board a fresh wax job, Kevin MacLean admitted he might be just a bit more on guard now.
“There’s a lot of people out there, so everybody is looking out for each other, and if we (see) something weird, we’re going to let everybody know about it,” MacLean said.
A few merchants say business is off some.
And while the shark attack has created a bit of a buzz among the spectators there, it’s little more than a distraction for surfers, who just want to catch a break.
“The thing is, if you think about it, when you’re out there, you might as well not be out there because you’re just going to worry about it, and you won’t have a good time,” Kurvin said.
A few surfers told KRON4 they think the water ban is a bit of an overreaction, but the city is just doing its due diligence.
You can imagine the consequences if they did nothing, and then there was another attack.
So far, no tickets have been issued.
The ban is to be lifted at sunrise on Saturday.
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