SoCal shark sightings rise

Shark sightings and encounters have spiked in the past month across Southern California.
Notable sightings ranged from the shark attack that took parts of Orange County local Leeanne Ericson’s  leg to the sighting of 25 sharks off the coast of  Capistrano Beach, 15 of which had surrounded a group of paddleboarders.
According to Paul “Doc” Anes, who has been giving shark diving tours since 1994 for his company San Diego Shark Diving, the increase in shark sightings is a result of a growing shark population and increased  awareness of sharks due to “drones, beach patrols and coast guard patrol planes.”
The recent sightings have local surfers on edge.
“The reason I’m afraid of sharks is because I don’t know if they’re below me or not,” TPHS Surf team member Ryan Parkes (11) said. “[So] I just keep my eyes peeled.”
Chris Shopes (11), who is also on the TPHS Surf  Team, has had two encounters with sharks in the past. Although he agrees that sharks can be dangerous, they are not surfers’ highest concern.
“Honestly, it’s more likely that you are going to be struck by lightning than you are going to be bitten by a shark,” Shopes said. “The most dangerous things out there are probably getting run over by other people or getting hit by someone else’s board.”
The Orange County beaches surrounding the beach where Ericson was attacked were temporarily closed and other beaches have issued swim advisories in response to shark sightings.

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