Sunday, July 6, 2014
There was a sorta interesting shark story yesterday. A great white shark, hooked by a fisherman on a California pier, struggled to get loose of the line. Apparently frustrated, the shark bit a man who happened to be swimming nearby.
You can see the bite victim above. He was helped to shore with a small chest wound and then taken by ambulance to a hospital. He will survive.
This story has rocketed around the world. There have been discussions about the fisherman and his failure to cut his line for a period of 45 minutes -- was he seriously thinking he could reel a 1,000-pound angry fish up onto the pier? It has been noted that the swimmer was just one member of a long-distance swimming group and that surfers also were in the water when the shark bit the man.
In the ebb and flow of the news business, shark stories are definitely trending this summer. Anything about sharks makes headlines.
Great white sharks swim all the oceans in large numbers, but when people see one these days, it's a big deal. Sharks have been sighted up and down the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, in Hawaii and in Great Britain.
The coverage has been broad.
--Scientists have speculated that the great white population is growing, a sign of health in the
--Youtube videos are posted of great white sightings. Footage of a hard-to-make-out attack
on an Australian surfer, who also survived, has attracted attracted more than 100,000 views.
--We have learned that great whites rarely attack humans.
--We have learned that sharks prefer to eat seals and sea lions and not humans.
--We have been advised that, if attacked by a shark, the thing to do is punch the shark
in the face.
--More than forty great whites, tagged by researchers, have veritable fan clubs that follow their
progress as they travel the Atlantic Ocean.
--Shark attacks, even minor ones, make international headlines.
My guess is this is the sharkiest summer since 1975, when the movie Jaws was released and scared the heck out of everybody who watched it.
There's nothing wrong with this, of course. It's just interesting to see what burbles up and becomes newsworthy at a given moment. Most likely some other topic will be the big story in 2015.
Some years ago, a young woman and her boyfriend were attacked, partially eaten and killed by a great white shark as they were kayaking off Malibu. It was a grisly story, and I remember it only because I knew her slightly. In contrast to the all-out coverage of yesterday's incident, those deaths were reported in the Los Angeles papers for a day or two, and that was the end of it.
Imagine the press if something like that happened this summer.