Southern California authorities sound alarm as monster 17-foot Great White Shark circles menacingly through popular surf spots: “She’s not your everyday juvenile; she’s a massive adult that you should avoid!”
Surfers, bodyboarders and standup paddleboarders residing around the Southern California gem Santa Barbara were given a shocking warning, Sunday morning, as authorities issued an alarming note declaring that a monster 17-foot Great White Shark was skirting the coast off El Capitan and hungry.
Michael Domeier, Executive Director of the Marine Conservation Science Institute, breathlessly declared, “She is not your everyday Southern California juvenile; she’s a massive adult that you should avoid.”
Terror immediately rippled through the surf community, with those who had been out in the water sharing stories. One surfer, who had been maybe straddling a Channel Islands’ Twin Pin, responded that he had seen a dorsal fin in the water that very morning “as big as a traffic cone.”
Another, probably astride a Ryan Lovelace, swore he had seen an orca out in the water because it was much too big, in his mind’s eye, to be a shark.
Still a third searched for a silver lining, stating, “I’m more scared of the juvenile curious taste test than the adult who knows that we don’t have much meat on us.”
A classic blunder assuming children are less intelligent than grown-ups.
Domeier quickly splashed water on that theory, responding, “Juvenile white sharks eat fish, stingrays and other sharks. Adult white sharks eat seals, sea lions and porpoise. Adults are more likely to bite a person than a juvenile.”
Ageism goes both ways.
More as the story develops.
Mike Tyson spread-eagles while Action Bronson talks surf.
300-pound superstar rapper Action Bronson talks surf with heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson, “It’s like flying, it’s like you’re f*&king superman! It’s like when you hit the DMT and you blast off!”
A podcast with the sixth-best heavyweight boxer of all time, ear-eating, bong-throttling Mike Tyson has taken a surprising turn with Queens rapper Ariyan Arslani aka Action Bronson explaining to Mike the thrill of surf.
Surprising ‘cause ol AB hit the scales at four-hundred pounds last year (181 kilos, oowee), although has whittled a hundred away and now stands at 300 pounds or 136 kgs.
“In the water a lot. The ocean, really into riding waves, man.”
What’s that like, man, says Tyson.
“Flying, it’s like flying, it’s like fucking Superman. It’s like you’re just flying through the air but you’re on water, you’re seeing the wave curl right in front of your face and somehow you’re in it.”
Tell me what happens in that, says Tyson, it like a vortex.
“It is like a vortex. It’s like when you hit the (psychedelic) DMT and you blast off. It’s that sound of silence and then… euphoria. Its like, man, I can’t believe I’m fucking taming this natural element like this. I’m not great but, you know, when it happens it’s next fucking level.”
Tyson asks Bronson long he’s stayed on his board for.
“The rides aren’t that long, probably fifteen seconds the most. You see these dudes, the pros, they can keep going. It’s reading the waves. You have to be a weatherman, a media man, you have to be able to read the ocean. It takes a while, but it’s a beautiful thing. I like to connect with the earth.”
But you have certainly seen, by now, the video gone viral of a California math teacher whooping it up like a cartoon Indigenous-American. According to reports, “The math teacher was allegedly trying to teach (her students) SOH-CAH-TOA (acronyms for defining sine, cos, and tan angles using the hypotenuse, adjacent and opposite sides) by using the Native American dance as a device. However, the dance was deemed as racist and insensitive by some online.”
This sort of thing is officially unforgivable and the teacher was immediately put on administrative leave while angry mobs gathered at her virtual door.
A foul modern sin even worse than talking about Jonah Hill’s body.
And so you can understand the shock, dismay, of a surfer who mistakenly received an invitation to join “The Inertia Fam.”
His welcome missive read thusly:
Thanks for joining the (party) wave! It’s on!
We’ll keep you in the loop with the latest news, exclusive offers, original films, new courses and monumental gatherings to make sure you’re the first to know about the most important updates in surf and outdoors.
As an official welcome, we wanted to share a few of our favorite features since The Inertia’s birth in 2010.
Since the beginning, we’ve approached the natural world and its devoted culture with curiosity, optimism, and respect, and the following features offer a tasty aperitif to give you a better sense of the fam you just joined.
We firmly believe the oceans, mountains, and outdoors are for everyone – best enjoyed together. We’re glad you’re here. Let’s hoot you into a set wave.
The victim, left reeling, could only respond, “‘Aloha’ – really c*nts?”
Textbook inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, language, etc. Taking Hawaiian ideals and affixing them to the palest notions of “surf and outdoors.”
It is unclear, at time of writing, if The Inertia has been placed on administrative leave.
More as the story develops.
An Almost Post Mortem Interview With Great White Shark Attack Survivor Eric Steinley, “My soul is on the mend, it was pretty dark there for a while”
“I reached down and touched its massive face. Then I grabbed it in the eye, not so much aggressively, just trying to figure out what it was.”
Around nine am on Sunday, the third of October, 38-year-old Eric Steinley was attacked by a Great White shark while surfing Salmon Creek in Sonoma County, just north of Bodega Bay and about 20 miles as the emergency helicopter flies west of Santa Rosa.
“The feeling was very heavy, like swimming with a bag of bricks on you,” Steinley said in a telephone interview from his hospital bed with the Press Democrat of Santa Rosa. “I reached down with my right hand and touched its massive face. Then I grabbed it in the eye, not so much aggressively, just trying to figure out what it was.”
Sympathetic to the physical, mental, financial, spiritual and neoprenal plight of shark attack victims, we contacted Steinley and sent him some email questions to answer, based on shark attack victims I had interviewed in the past.
Steinley answered a couple days later.
How did you like the show? Any PTSD? Post Traumatic Shark Dreams?
Strangely I’ve only had one dream since I’ve been home. It was a nightmare but not shark related, I don’t remember specifically but it was violent. I do find it weird that I haven’t had other dreams or at least remembered them because prior to this event I had vivid dreams a couple times a week. It’s just kinda blank up there now.
A few people I’ve interviewed said that’s the worst part of it all: When it happens you don’t know it’s coming, but when you dream about it, you do know it’s coming and it’s terrifying. One guy in particular had a lot of trouble with that.
The worst part of it all is the nerve pain. The shark severed my peroneal nerve at my fibula (which it also broke.) The surgeon did reattach it but I’m told it will take three months to determine if the nerve is going to accept the surgery and start to heal. Basically, it feels like there is a hot iron on different parts of my foot. This is constant… all day.
Are you still in hospital or under care, or did they let you out?
I am at home with my girlfriend caring for me mostly and my mother coming down from Reno to give her a break so she can go to work. I do need care at the moment because I can’t drive right now (right leg injury) and it’s difficult for me to move around and do basic things.
Those suckers do a lot of damage, don’t they?
They do, I feel even though it was a clean bite without a lot of thrashing I’m lucky to have my leg because the surfboard (and fins) stopped the bite from going all the way through.
How close do you think you came to dying?
I’m not sure technically how close I was, but I was airlifted to the hospital and put into surgery as soon as I got there to stop the bleeding. I can tell you once I got into the ambulance and was waiting for the helicopter I felt very cold and had lost a lot of blood and that was pretty scary.
The time when I thought I was going to die was in the water when I was paddling back to shore. I had just been attacked, there was blood in the water and I was still 60 yards from land.
Who do you want to thank for getting you to shore and stopping the bleeding and calling 9/11?
There was Jared the surfer in the water who watched the entire thing, I caught up to him paddling and he did tell me not to look back and to keep going. There were two surfers that used their leashes as tourniquets when I got to shore, then the surfer Bailey who happens to be an EMT and ran to his car and got his kit and applied a medical tourniquet, the 10 plus surfers who carried me on a longboard up a long sandy hill to the parking lot (not to mention a shit-ton of stairs.) I also believe there was a surfer who happened to be an ER doctor as well who helped out.
What is the prognosis from your doctors? Any permanent damage?
Severed popliteal vein, severed peroneal nerve, broken fibula, hamstring, quad and calf muscle reconstruction, 70 staples. As discussed in the previous questions the main damage was to the nerve, currently I have spots on my foot and ankle with no feeling and am not able to lift my foot up. Only time will tell if I’m able to recover fully
Do you have a timeline for recovery? How much physical therapy will you need?
If full recovery is possible I’m told it will take a year. I do have PT that comes to my house twice a week now just to work on the rest of my body from laying around in the hospital bed all day. I was told when I was in the ICU that there are PT programs that have three hours of training a day and It could be possible for me to join one of those programs if needed.
I’ve interviewed about a dozen White shark attack victims going back to Eric “Lucky” Larsen in 1990. I call him “Lucky” because he had also been struck by lightning. That guy was surfing alone in Swanton and he said the scariest part was the shark getting wrapped up in his leash and towing him out to sea.
He shook loose and made it to shore.
He knew first aid and saved himself.
All the people I’ve interviewed have a few things in common:
They didn’t see the shark coming.
The attack was in fairly shallow water.
When the attack first happens, the reaction is more Discovery Channel: “Look at the size of this fricking thing!!”
For me I didn’t even know what was going on at first, I was just underwater with a serious amount of pressure on my leg.
I know more than a few people who say it’s shocking to be surfing one minute, and then getting a helicopter ride to the hospital the next minute.
I would agree with this, I was having a nice beautiful Sunday.
And then when they are lying in their beds, thinking it over they all say the same thing: “I can’t believe something that big could sneak up on me.” Was that your experience?
I’ve been on safari in Africa, I’m fully aware we are not at the top of the food chain. This was not the feeling I had.
Without sounding like a smart ass I have to say: “If you want to get attacked by a shark, go surf Salmon Creek in October.” Were you aware of the threat at that time at the place?
I’ve been surfing Marin and Sonoma County for 20 years, I am aware there are sharks in the area but I would think that if they liked to eat surfers there wouldn’t be many surfers left.
Had you ever seen a big shark before that?
Not at all.
My friend Steve Guzzetta was diving for abs alone at Pigeon Point between Santa Cruz and HMB when he felt something very strange and got out of the water and Guzzy is a fearless walking muscle who could probably wrestle a White shark.The next day, Guzz dove the same spot with his friend Ernie Morgan, and a guy named Omar was bit and killed like 50 yards from them. Steve believes humans have receptors we no longer listen to, but we should. Did you get weird vibrations/feelings before the attack, some people said they did.
I did not. I have multiple times in the past but over the years have learned to suppress this feeling. I used to even shout at myself, or slap my wrist and tell myself to focus.
From the interviews I’ve done, the people who get bitten are the people who just moved: Either turned to paddle for a wave, or caught a wave, paddled back out, stopped and then kaboom! Were you the person who moved? How many people were around you?
I was originally alone, I enjoy surfing solo. One guy had paddled out near me and had caught a wave so he was still about 30 yards from me. Yes, I had just moved, I was sitting for a minute and then started to paddle.
Lee Fontan from Bolinas caught a wave, got burned, got mad paddled back outside the pack and stopped. He heard something coming behind him and he said he felt like a frog getting hit by a large mouth bass. Were you lifted in the air? Pulled under? Rag dolled?
This is a good description, I was not lifted in the air but I was pulled under…with ease. No shaking like a rag doll, strangely enough the shark moved slowly after he bit me, like a tug boat dragging me under.
How tall are you and how much do you weigh?
6′-0″ and 180 pounds.
Were you surprised by the power of the shark?
Not surprised, they are huge powerful animals. I was surprised I got attacked.
I’ve also learned that getting hit by a White shark that destroys your board, body and wetsuit is bad enough, but if you are attacked and don’t have medical insurance, then you’re really screwed. That was true with Megan Halavais. Is that true for you?
Fortunately, I have medical insurance until February. I had just been off work for three months and started a new job that I was at for two weeks. Luckily my insurance extends out a while after you stop working depending on how many hours you have “banked”… kinda like roll over minutes.
A friend of a friend got hurt on his bicycle and the helicopter ride was like $67,000 or something like that. Do you know how much the helicopter ride to the hospital was?
I have no idea.
You went to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, where Megan Halavais went, I believe. How did they handle you there? Impressed with the care and service? I can’t imagine they see a lot of shark attacks there.
I was attacked by a shark, went under anesthesia, had two surgeries and woke up in the middle of the night in an unfamiliar place with people I didn’t know. That was one of the worst experiences I can remember. Since there were no family members allowed that left patients literally crying and screaming at night and me not knowing what the fuck was happening. I am still dumbfounded by this.
I was impressed with the nurses and surgeons for sure. They were mostly amazing and I’m thankful they saved my life.
Unfortunately because of Covid and with the exception of my mom and GF being able to visit once for 15 mins, no one was allowed in. So I was attacked by a shark, went under anesthesia, had two surgeries and woke up in the middle of the night in an unfamiliar place with people I didn’t know. That was one of the worst experiences I can remember. Since there were no family members allowed that left patients literally crying and screaming at night and me not knowing what the fuck was happening. I am still dumbfounded by this. I have to say this in no way reflects the nurses or doctors themselves and seems to be a complete policy flaw.
How long did they work on you?
I was in the ICU for four days, then transferred to a nearby wing for another two days. I know the nerve surgery took about six hours, I’m not sure how long the vascular surgery took.
Were you in the ER or did they move you to a specialist?
I was in the Trauma Center.
Well there are few things more traumatic than getting attacked by a shark, out at sea. It’s been two weeks now: How is your mind? How is your body? How is your soul?
My mind is ok. I’m still thinking about surfing in the future and what it will be like. My leg is slowly getting better, it’s just the nerve pain that’s pretty bad. My soul is on the mend, it was pretty dark there for a while.
Most people don’t ever have a near-death experience but you sure did. By an animal. How are you digesting it all, mentally, physically, financially?
I am not a religious person, I consider us all animals. I’m digesting it as well as possible. Financially I’m still waiting for the GoFundMe funds to be transfered. Strangely enough that platform is rather challenging to work with and it’s impossible to speak to anyone on the phone. So here we are three weeks later and I’m still waiting on funds to be put into a bank account.
I just looked at your GoFundMe and it’s up to $40,452 of the $50,000 goal. Maybe they don’t pay out until it hits the $50,000 goal? We’ll try to bump that up for you.Click here.
I wonder what the total tally on this is going to be: helicopter ride, plus hospital bills plus nursing plus out of work plus physical therapy plus other things, if that’s not too personal.
I do wonder what the total cost is going to be myself, only time will tell. Who knows if I will need more surgeries in the future and what type of mental health help I will need as well.
Please let us know which O’Neill wetsuit you want and if there’s anything else you can do, please let us know.
Hyperfreak 4/3, hooded, front zip, size large. I’ve heard there is a shark repellent leash… One of those would be great!
Modern Waikiki is an earthly paradise of surf, sun, high-end shopping and must be protected from unimaginative bores who would dare tarnish its glorious name!
Ooooooooooh I don’t get hopping mad much, red in the face, curses bubbling up from deep inside before expectorating out* but on Thursday just past I almost leapt my second coffee table and almost danced with David Lee Scales.
It all happened so quickly.
There we, per the usual, at the finest surf shop San Clemente has to offer, chatting about my pivot from hardened cynic to a bubbling fount of anti-depressive joy (buy here), Jonah Hill being a total pussy, Dave Chappelle delivering a masterpiece etc. when Scales brought up the recent, tragic, surfboard rack fire there in Waikiki and began spouting off on what an abomination Oahu’s crown jewel is.
“I was scared to walk out of my Airbnb because prostitutes were coming up and down the stairs, homeless drug addicts everywhere, big gaudy Chanel stores, blah blah blah it was horrible.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
Waikiki has, truly, been on of my very favorite places on earth for decades now. I love everything about it from its history to its architecture to its high-end shopping to its hotels, tourists, Hawaiiana, Roy Yamaguchi’s Hawaiian fusion fare.
I could spend the rest of my days waltzing up and down Kalakaua Avenue, never wanting for nothing, and to hear David Lee besmirch it so set my heart pounding, blood boiling.
(WHOOP numbers forthcoming.)
I dished out a stream of truths, allowing him to escape physical violence as he is just about to have a baby any day now, but, later, wondered what you think about Waikiki.
Abomination or gem?
Be careful how you respond.
Listen here for more on Jonah Hill being a complete pussy.
Also, Punch-Drunk Love is one of the greatest movies ever made.
Continue being careful.
*Upon further reflection, I get hopping mad, red in the face, expectorating etc. often.