Attack: Woman bitten by shark at Church!

Shark attack near Lower Trestles is second of the year.

As reported by Surfline, The Orange County Register etc. a woman was attacked by a shark last evening while bodyboarding at Church right south of Lower Trestles. It was the second attack of the year, the other happening just north in Corona del Mar.

The woman was wearing swim fins and chomped on her thigh. Two surfers helped pull her out of the water and fashioned a tourniquet out of a leash to stop the bleeding.

She was airlifted to Scripps hospital in La Jolla.

There is not much more information known as of yet, whether or not the woman has survived, what sort of shark, etc. Video of a shark breaching near Lowers has been shot this year.

The beach will be closed for 72 hours.

Shark attacks in Southern California are not common. I have a question, though, no matter where in this world you surf. Do you even consider the possibility of being nipped before paddling out? Does it even cross your mind?

Will it now?

Also, these Southern California attacks seem like isolated incidents but if there was suddenly a spate of bites do you think the state and local governments would start culling?

At what point do human concerns outweigh a fish that is neither endangered nor threatened?

Just in: Shark Attack Death on Reunion!

Ninth fatal shark attack on Reunion Island in six years. Crazy, no?

Like terrorist attacks in Paris and London and so forth, it ain’t easy to keep a handle on shark attack fatalities in Australia and on Reunion. You have to re-read the latest news to make sure you’re not scrolling through an old story.

But, it’s always new, there’s always more.

Yesterday, a bodyboarder who was “devoted to warning people about the animals was mauled to death” near Saint Leu. In six years, there have been twenty one attacks, nine fatal.

From The Daily Mirror,

Adrien Dubosc, 30, died off the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean just two months after one of his best friends died in almost identical circumstances.

Mr Dubosc was a member of Shark Watch Patrol, an organisation dedicated to cutting down on shark deaths on Reunion, which is plagued by man-eating bull and tiger sharks.

Despite this, he loved the fish, and regularly posted Facebook pictures of ones he had seen, together with biological details about them.

Just after 11am on Saturday morning Mr Dubosc entered the sea at Pointe au Sal in Saint-Leu with his bodyboard, off a beach where watersports are officially banned.

A police spokesman said: ‘The young man was in the water with two friends, when a shark attacked him, biting his right thigh, and his groin area.

‘The victim was pulled out of the water, and emergency workers arrived very quickly. Despite cardiac massage, he died within half an hour of the attack.’

The beach was packed at the time, and members of Mr Dubosc’s family were among those who watched the horror unfold.

Frederic Carre, a local sub-prefect, said members of a medical-psychological emergency unit attended the scene, and were treating many of the witnesses.

On February 21st Mr Dubosc’s close friend Alexandre Naussac, 26 and another trained shark spotter, died on a nearby beach that had also been officially closed to watersports.

The attack happened in Saint-Andre, and saw Mr Naussac being bitten in the femoral artery.

The thigh wound caused blood to pour out of Mr Naussance, as those he had been bodyboarding with also desperately tried to save him.

This morning, Thiery Canestri, whose thirteen-year-old son Eli was killed two years ago, posted a collage of recent deaths with the line, “Combien encore?

How many more? It’s a good question.


Breaking: Rip Curl sued for negligence!

Who wants to sail the high seas and have the adventure of a lifetime?

Do you recall two years ago when the Rip Curl surf charter vessel Quest 1 (formerly the Indies Trader II) sank whilst touring the Mentawi islands? Surfline reported:

At around 2:30am, somewhere between Lance’s Left and The Lighthouse, American passenger Pete Nevins went below deck to find a flooded engine room. “There was bubbling coming up from behind the starboard diesel, the twin screw,” he said. “We thought we had the water under control, but we didn’t. And about an hour-and-a-half later, we decided we should probably get off the vessel. Because once we lost the engines and all the power — there was no back-up power — we had lost all electronics, and at that point we didn’t even know our position. We had to abandon ship. It was a frenzy at first — people were just jumping off, going under the ski, all that stuff… But in the end we regained composure and got everyone into the life rafts.”

Once safely in the rafts, the stranded passengers and crew made a single phone call, to an agent in Padang, then all communication was lost. And after watching the last pieces of the Quest 1 disappear beneath the Indian Ocean, they floated into the sunrise, unsure if help was on the way.

Six hours later the legendary Martin Daly happened upon them and all were saved.

Two days ago Pete Nevins and other passengers filed a lawsuit against Rip Curl Inc. and others alleging negligence. Shall we read the suit? It would be negligent not to!

Negligence. Plaintiffs are an active group of surfing enthusiasts who were passengers aboard defendants’ legendary surfing excursion vessel, the Quest 1, when it sank in the middle of the night on the high seas off the coast of the Mentawai Islands. The vessel was devoid of any emergency damage control and lacked operable emergency position indicating radio beacon. As the vessel filled with water, the captain panicked and abandoned the ship on a Jet Ski, leaving plaintiff’s behind. Plaintiffs floated in a life raft in complete darkness for several hours until dawn realizing defendants had taken no action to notify the Indonesian coast guard or other rescue resources.

Oh of course, and again, these are mere allegations and I am certain Rip Curl is looking forward to answering them in a court of law. In the meanwhile, though, don’t you think Rip Curl should use the professed adventure in a wonderful new promotional brochure? In my mind it reads…

Come Search with Rip Curl!

Bored of the same old same old? Barrel, air, yawn? Well Come Search with Rip Curl! Our boats allegedly have no emergency damage control! When they begin to sink the captain is certain to allegedly panic and flee, allegedly leaving you and your best pals behind in the dark with one life raft. While no one is allegedly coming to get you, you’ll all have time to bond like you’ve never bonded before. And at the next office Christmas party you’ll have the story that beats all others. Don’t delay! Space is limited!

That’s good right? Have I been in the wrong career all along? Should I become a travel brochure writer?


I’ll call Rip Curl when offices open Monday for an official response and also to see if they are hiring.

Wish me luck!

Just in: Chas Smith to enter surf contest!

Get ready for the Dignity Health Pismo Beach Pro feat. the second best feel good surf story of the year!

It was just announced that Pismo Beach, located on California’s central coast, has secured the funding to host a World Surf League 1000 off the famed pier this November and congratulations to all!

What began as a dream for Andy McKay, local donut shop owner, is now a reality as the doctors from Dignity Health emptied their collective piggy bank and became the title sponsor alongside Sylvester’s Burgers and Central Coast Surfboards.

Maybe I will enter? Pismo Beach is where my family would flee each summer for fun in the California sun. It was almost always foggy and the water was only slightly warmer than hometown Coos Bay, Oregon but it perfect in my young eyes. I would sit on the pier and watch rippers tear apart the jumbled windswell then go attack it myself.

I would paddle out the back on my rainbow Hawaiian Shapes twin fin, take off on the best waves (the ones that broke all at the same time guaranteeing maximum speed straight toward the beach), throw my hands up in the air and hoot. Almost all the waves in Pismo Beach are the best (ones that break all at the same time guaranteeing maximum speed straight toward the beach.)

I think I could do well in the contest. I think I have experience that Jesse Mendes, Yago Dora and Soli Bailey do not.

I think I will enter. What are the rules regarding that again? Do I just pay or do I have to send in video of myself ripping or how does it work? I feel we’ve discussed this before but my memory is in disrepair.

In any case, wish me luck and see you in November. My charge through the Dignity Pro Health field will be the second best feel good surf story of the year!

Let's protect our pros!
Let's protect our pros!

Safety: Time for the Owen Rule!

Let's force our beloved pros to wear pillow ballon helmets!

In October of 2009 the National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell was called before the United States congress to answer questions about the League being potentially negligent in its protecting its players from concussion and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

A lawsuit by ex-NFL players was filed in 2011 that was settled in 2013 for $765 million but a federal judge overturned the deal on the grounds that it would not be nearly enough to provide for the players covered under the suit. In 2015 the cap was expanded to at least $1 billion.

The Will Smith film Concussion also opened in 2015 and dramatized the true story of Dr. Bennett Omalu who fought the National Football League’s alleged suppression of his CTE research.

The scandal is ongoing and may someday cost the NFL multiple billions.

Which brings us to the World Surf League (WSL).

Owen Wright’s brain bleed from what he says was a duckdive out at plus-sized Pipe, coincidentally in 2015, puts the WSL in massive potential danger. Owen said in a recent interview, “If you try and duckdive a 15-foot second reef Pipe wave, you’re only going to be a foot under water with 15 feet of wave coming down on you. Something is going to give… and I gave.”

Pipeline is not the only heavy reef wave on tour breaking in shallow water or featuring shallow sections. The Box, Cloudbreak, Teahupo’o are all very dangerous and Kelly Slater claimed he nearly drowned at the last Bells event due the exposed rock shelf on the inside.

Are the professional surfers on today’s tour, plus all the tours since professional surfing has been a thing, due billions of dollars for potential brain bleeds?

Should the professional surfers on today’s tour probably wear helmets?

Owen Wright never claimed to hit his head on either board or reef. It is a truly unprecedented injury. The sort of injury that a helmet is not known to prevent. But wouldn’t a helmet help dissipate the shock of the duckdive? Or couldn’t a helmet be developed, maybe larger like an oversized pillow or ballon, that encapsulates the professional’s head?

I think our surfer’s head health is worth the unfortunate aesthetics! But maybe it’s cool to wear a pillow ballon on the head while surfing! The Inertia published 5 reasons why surfers should wear a helmet in 2013. When the original NFL concussion lawsuit was settled.

Does the WSL have multiple billions to give potential brain bled surfers?


I will be following up with the World Surf League when offices open Monday.

I am the new Ralph Nader.