By now I’m sure we’ve all seen this very tragic and horrible story about a man who was killed by a great white shark off of San Diego while swimming with his tri club. Commodore even knows a guy who is a friend of the victim. It’s a small world.
I first saw this story on yahoo at about 10:30 AM and instantly remembered that my daughter has a surfing lesson, off the coast of San Diego, at 10 or noon or something. I was very, very uncomfortable. The first story wasn’t very specific and I was worried. Then I saw a story that said the tri club was off Solana Beach, 14 miles north of San Diego but it didn’t really help much because for all I know they put the kids in a bus and take them wherever.
I sent email and then I called and told her to call me IMMEDIATELY. The fact that this guy was on an open water swim with his club wasn’t really registering yet – I just knew where they were.
She called and told me she was fine and did I realize how far away that was? I said I figured 14 miles wasn’t very far for a fast moving shark but I did realize she wasn’t at the same beach. She said the Coast Guard helicopters were overhead and there were lots of life guards and it was fine. And then she proudly told me that her teacher says she is a natural and can’t wait to get her further out in the water to see her ride a wave for a long time. Go Pookie! But not if there are seals nearby. This shark was probably hunting seal which had been seen in that area recently.
So now I”m thinking like a triathlete and like a human and my heart goes out to that man’s family and friends. And especially to any friend who feels like it might not have happened had he been there. Sharks are fast – they don’t target the fast swimmers vs. the slow swimmers. They just see something in the water and they bite. The really tragic part of this is that sharks don’t like human flesh at all. That’s why they bite and then leave which is what they did with this man. Unfortunately the bite was fatal.