List of fatal shark attacks in California

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The following is a list of recorded fatal shark attacks which have taken place in California. The list is organized by time period in reverse chronological order. It includes: attacks where the body was killed and recovered, attacks that were immediately fatal or almost immediately fatal, and attacks where the victim died from wounds sustained some days after the attack. This list also includes cases in which no body was recovered, but a shark attack is considered the most likely cause of death. Non-fatal shark attacks are not included in this list.


1980–present[edit]

Name, Age Date Species Details
Ben Kelly, 26 May 9, 2020 Great White Shark juvenile Kelly was surfing 100 yards from shore at Manresa State Beach near Santa Cruz when he was attacked around 1:30 p.m. Mr Kelly was on the inside of his friend while surfing on a shortboard. Kelly was seen by his companion to be pulled underwater amid commotion at Kelly’s board. Kelly surfaced and immediately exited the water with companion however the bleeding could not be stopped. Kelly had been bitten severely behind the knee cutting vital arterial.The victim was pronounced dead on scene.[1] [2]
Francisco Javier Solorio Jr, 39 October 23, 2012 Great White Shark Attacked occurred while Solorio was surfing at Surf Beach in Santa Barbara County. Solorio was bitten on his upper torso while sitting on his board. He was pulled to shore by his friend, but was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. Based upon the bite through the surfboard, it was determined that the shark was a Great White, about 15–16 feet (4.6–4.9 m) in length.[3][4]
Lucas Ransom, 19 October 22, 2010 Great White Shark Attack occurred while Ransom was body boarding at Surf Beach in Santa Barbara County. Ransom was bitten on the leg and pulled under water. He was pulled to shore by his friend, but was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. Based upon the severity of the wounds, it was determined that the shark was a Great White, about 17–18 feet (5.2–5.5 m) in length and weighing about two tons.[5][4]
Dave Martin, 66 April 25, 2008 Great White Shark Attack occurred in Fletcher Cove, Solana Beach in San Diego County. Martin was rammed from below and eventually pulled underwater. He was pulled to shore by friends, but was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. An autopsy determined that the shark was Great White, about 14 feet (4.3 m) in length.[6][7]
Randy Fry, 50 August 15, 2004 Great White Shark Attack occurred at Kibeseliah Rock, Mendocino County while Fry was diving for abalone with a friend. Fry's body was found three days later by the Coast Guard. An autopsy determined that the shark was a Great White, about 17 feet (5.2 m) in length.[8][9]
Deborah Franzman, 50 August 19, 2003 Great White Shark Attacked occurred at Avila Beach, San Luis Obispo County while Franzman was swimming with sea lions. Franzman was pulled beneath the surface. She was pulled to shore by lifeguards, but was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. It was determined that the shark was a Great White, about 17 feet (5.2 m) in length.[10][11]
James Robinson, 42 December 9, 1994 Great White Shark Attack occurred at Castle Rock, San Miguel Island in Santa Barbara County while Robinson was collecting sea urchins. He was pulled from the water and transported by helicopter to a hospital, but died about two hours after the attack. Based upon the jaw size, it was determined that the shark was a Great White, about 18 feet (5.5 m) in length.[12][13]
Tamara McAllister, 24, and Jeffrey Roy Stoddard, 24 January 26, 1989 Great White Shark Attack occurred in Paradise Cove, Malibu in Los Angeles County while the two were kayaking. McAllister's body was found two days after the attack, but Stoddard's body was never found despite a week long search. The shark was determined to be a Great White, about 16 feet (4.9 m) in length, based upon McAllister's bite wounds.[14][15]
Omar Conger, 28 September 15, 1984 Great White Shark Attack occurred at Pigeon Point, San Mateo County, California, while Conger was diving with a friend. Conger was bitten from behind an pulled underwater. He was pulled to shore by his friend, but pronounced dead shortly thereafter. It was determined that the shark was a Great White, about 15–16 feet (4.6–4.9 m) in length.[16][17][18]
Lewis Boren, 24 December 19, 1981 Great White Shark Attacked occurred at South Moss Beach, Spanish Bay in Monterey County while Boren was surfing alone. His body was found several days later. Based upon the size of the bite wound to Boren's chest and the damage to his surfboard, it was determined that the shark was a Great White, a marine biologist estimated that the shark was 18 to 20 feet in length.[19][20]

Before 1980[edit]

Name, Age Date Species Details
Frank Lee Morris, 35, and John Anglin, 32 (unconfirmed) June 11, 1962 Unknown, Probably Great White Shark Frank Lee Morris was an inmate at Alcatraz. He, John and Clarence Anglin, and Allen West, all devised a plan to escape. West never made it out of his cell, but Morris and the Anglins did. They hopped into a raft that they had made over the course of the past few months, and disappeared. Their bodies were never found. One man, however, claimed that his grandfather was Clarence Anglin, and that he was able to escape, but the others were attacked by sharks before they could escape. However, this is not confirmed.[21]
Robert Pamperin, 33 June 14, 1959 Great White Shark This attack took place at Alligator Head, La Jolla Cove, La Jolla, San Diego County. Pamperin and his friend, Gerald Lehrer, were free diving for abalone. Lehrer heard Pamperin yell for help. He saw Pamperin upright in the air. Pamperin was then pulled underwater. Lehrer dove and saw Pamperin in the jaws of a shark. Lehrer tried to scare it away, to no avail. He swam to shore and told lifeguards. Despite searching, they could not find Pamperin; only a single swim fin was found. Lehrer estimated the shark to be 20–23 feet long.[22]
Albert Kogler, Jr, 18. May 7, 1959 Great White Shark This attack took place at Baker Beach, San Francisco County. Kogler and a friend arrived at the beach at 5:00 P.M. About 30 minutes later, they were treading water when Kogler was attacked by a shark. His friend took him to shore. Kogler was moved up the shore, wrapped in a blanket. Kogler then went unconscious. The U.S. Coast Guard came and transported to the hospital. Despite doctors best efforts, he died at 8:15 P.M. Measurement of his wounds indicated a white shark, about 16–17 feet in length.[23]
Peter Savino, 25 April 28, 1957 Great White Shark This incident took place at Atascadero Beach, San Luis Obispo County. Peter Savino and his friend, Daniel Hogan, were pulled from shore by a rip current that carried them 400 meters from shore. They decided to swim back, but a shark nudged Savino. Hogan swam faster, but when Hogan reached shore, Savino was gone. The Coast Guard was soon notified of this and sent out a boat to look for Savino. They never found Savino, but saw a shark as long as their boat pass by.[24]
Barry Wilson, 16 December 7, 1952 Great White Shark This attack took place at Paul Aulone at Pacific Grove, Monterey County. At about 2:00 P.M., Wilson and his friend went for a swim. Wilson was then attacked by a shark. His friend was able to fight off the shark, but the shark came again, this time raising Wilson above the surface, and then pulled him underwater. Wilson surfaced and yelled for help. Witnesses pulled him to shore. When they did reach shore, a physician examined him, and pronounced him dead. The injuries were consistent from a Great White Shark, about 13 feet (4 meters) in length.[25]
Survivors of the wreck of the "Spare Time" July 27, 1952 Unknown, possibly Great White, Blue, or Oceanic White Tip. This incident took place 14 miles from shore off the coast of Santa Monica, California in very rough seas. After the engine of the boat failed, several men tried to repair it. However, the boat exploded, and it sank. The next day, 3 men out of the 12 were rescued from shark-infested waters. Others are presumed to have drowned, died in the explosion, or killed by sharks.[26]
5 fishermen Reported August 23, 1899 Basking Shark This incident happened off the coast of Monterey County. The men were hunting Basking Sharks. One shark they had harpooned "raised itself partly out of the water and began to strike with its powerful tail.... Then it rolled over, beating the water into foam, and with a terrific lunge disappeared, carrying the boat underwater." The shark involved was a Basking Shark, estimated to be 40 feet long. (Note: This was a PROVOKED INCIDENT. The shark had been harpooned).[27]
Several Japanese fishermen Before 1908 Basking Shark Several Japanese Fisherman were working for a fishery for Basking Shark in Monterey. The shark had been caught but "came suddenly to life and killed several men, and so utterly ruined their boats that the fishery was abandoned." (Note: This was a PROVOKED ATTACK. The shark had been caught in a net).[28]

See also[edit]

Sharks:

Animal Attacks:

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/10/us/shark-attack-santa-cruz-manresa-sand-dollar-beach.html. Retrieved May 11, 2020. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/05/13/autopsy-witnesses-reveals-new-details-about-santa-cruz-surfer-shark-attack/?fbclid=IwAR0_GXAFrtD8PJHvAfg5lnowM4X8zLLaRZVcmP8vxTw_N5QHeeZ8jqlMNcg. Retrieved May 15, 2020. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "Solorio" (PDF). sharkattackfile.net. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  4. ^ a b Sakata, John (October 24, 2012). "Shark attack kills man: Incident at Surf Beach happens two years, one day after last fatal attack at that location". Lompoc Record. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  5. ^ "Ransom" (PDF). sharkattackfile.net. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  6. ^ "DaveMartin" (PDF). sharkattackfile.net. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  7. ^ Nott, Laura; Reza, H.G.; Hennessy-Fiske, Molly (April 26, 2008). "A strike from beneath, and a triathlete is gone". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  8. ^ "Fry" (PDF). sharkattackfile.net. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  9. ^ Nolte, Cal (August 17, 2014). "Shark attack kills diver off Mendocino coast / Man's buddy says fish struck suddenly". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  10. ^ "Franzman" (PDF). sharkattackfile.net. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  11. ^ Gaura, Maria Alicia; Squatriglia, Chuck (August 20, 2003). "Shark kills woman in Central Coast attack / 50-year-old bitten while swimming among sea lions". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  12. ^ "a-Robinson_Collier" (PDF). sharkattackfile.net. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  13. ^ Simon, Stephanie (December 10, 1994). "Shark Kills Skin Diver Off San Miguel Island". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  14. ^ "a-McAllister_Collier" (PDF). sharkattackfile.net. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  15. ^ Boxall, Bettina; Corwin, Miles (February 1, 1989). "Coast Scoured for Friend of Shark Victim". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  16. ^ "Conger_Collier" (PDF). sharkattackfile.net. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  17. ^ "Great White Shark Sightings Increase Off California Coast". The New York Times. Associated Press. October 7, 1984. Retrieved July 25, 2015. Eight days earlier, Omar Conger, 28 years old, was killed by a great white shark off Pigeon Point on the San Mateo County coast.
  18. ^ Angier, Natalie (November 19, 1984). "Environment: Dangers of the Red Triangle". Time.
  19. ^ "Boren_Collier". sharkattackfile.net. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  20. ^ King, Wayne (December 25, 1981). "Man's Body Found Off The Coast; Wound Suggests A Shark Attack". The New York Times. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  21. ^ "a-Morris" (PDF). sharkattackfile.net. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  22. ^ "a-Pamperin_Collier" (PDF). sharkattackfile.net. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  23. ^ "Kogler_Collier" (PDF). sharkattackfile.net. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  24. ^ "Savino_Collier" (PDF). sharkattackfile.net. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  25. ^ "Wilson_Collier" (PDF). sharkattackfile.net. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  26. ^ "a-Sparetime" (PDF). sharkattackfile.net. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  27. ^ "R-BaskingShark-Monterey" (PDF). sharkattackfile.net. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  28. ^ "BaskingShark" (PDF). sharkattackfile.net. Retrieved 21 July 2016.