"When I got home I told my wife and she told me not to come into the house as I was all sandy and would be bleeding all over the place."
Hot off the wire is the wild story of a swimmer coming face-to-snout with a Great White shark at Coronado Beach in San Diego, forcing authorities to close the joint for two days.
In an eloquent statement about the incident, Phil Garn, a man who has swum the English channel, soloed Catalina Island and who still holds the relay record for swimming around Catalina, writes,
On December 30, 2020, at approximately a little after 1600 hours, I headed out through the surf just a little west (what locals refer to as North) of G Avenue in front of the Maintenance Shed in Coronado, California. I was wearing cap goggles, ear plugs, speedo swimsuit and black super extra large duck feet swim fins.
There was a group of several surfers out front (south).
I swam freestyle through the surf and once outside I turned on my side and began kicking west up the beach (what locals refer to as North.) I went about twenty yards paralleling the shore when I felt a strong tug on my fin. I turned and saw the head of a white shark. I could see the eye which looked very black and the dorsal surface which looked very dark gray to black and wet as well as a bit of the ventral side which was white.
I made a 90 degree turn and swam freestyle kicking as hard as I could toward shore. I knew the shark would likely be circling back. I felt the adrenaline dump and of course things felt like they slowed down a bit but headed to shallow water.
In about 12 inches of surf, I rolled and took off my fins and got up. I was just a little east (South) of the portable lifeguard tower and west (North) of the berm channel. I then went over to the lifeguard pick-up truck which was further east (South) and reported the incident to Lifeguard Garrison Covel.
Lifeguard Covel took my name and contact information as well as photos of the fin. He commented that he saw me go out then come back in to shore very fast. The bite mark is fairly obvious. He radioed the information in and called Captain Carey. He then warned the surfers who came in.
As I was walking back to my towel and backpack, I spoke briefly to the young surfers (appeared to me to be about high school aged) and asked them if they had seen the shark. They said they had seen the shark’s fin, but that was all.
I walked home, and when I got home I spoke with Captain Carey at approximately 1636 hours. He asked me if I was ok, I said I was. Then Captain Carey asked me to describe what happened (see above). He said he would be calling Chief Lyden directly. My wife later received a call from Lifeguard Damon Bassett when I was in the shower, and I spoke with him at approximately 1723 hours and related what had transpired. Lifeguard asked me to send him a statement for his report.
When I got home I told my wife and she told me not to come into the house as I was all sandy and would be bleeding all over the place.
If you live around San Diego, you’ll know of the sudden increase in juvie White sightings.
Exciting for some, not so thrilling, perhaps, for others.