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Shark breach caught on camera off the Central Coast

Posted at 12:32 AM, Jul 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-29 15:09:18-04

An unusual sight was caught on camera off the coast of Pismo State Beach.

What appears to be a great white shark was caught on camera jumping out of the water. The photo was taken at the end of Grand Avenue in Grover Beach.

This summer of shark sightings continues to captivate the Central Coast.

“It looks insane. I’m just nervous because I was just out there swimming with my kids,” said Jonathan Matias, who is visiting from Exeter.

Calli Brooks was at her son’s junior lifeguard camp when she snapped the photo on Wednesday. You can see a shark breaching the water and soaring feet into the air.

The Arroyo Grande woman said she was taking photos of a whale when the shark stole the spotlight.

Experts believe it was likely a great white shark.

“It could be a mako but it looks like a white shark based on its proportions and the shape of its fins."

He added that it’s actually common for sharks to jump out of the water. What’s unusual is that the exact moment was caught on camera.

“First of all, it’s really cool to see. When you see an animal that’s that big launch itself six to eight feet into the air-- from a purely athletic standpoint you’re like ‘that’s impressive,’” said Lowe.

Beach-goers said it was a sight to admire and nothing to be too concerned about.

“I’m still gonna jump in the ocean man. you can’t stop--they’re in there,” said Matias. “Hopefully, they don’t mess with us.”

So, why do sharks jump out of the ocean? Experts said the sharks might have been chasing fish, but there are other more interesting explanations.

“I personally think they’re doing it to dislodge parasites,” said Lowe. “So they have parasites on their backs and they move around and when they do that, it’s itchy. By jumping up in the water column and landing on their backs, they might be able to knock some of the parasites off.”

Others hypothesized that the sharks were simply jumping out of the water because it was fun.

“It looks like it’s fun because they launch themselves out of the water, they’ll land on their side, they’ll land on their backs,” said Lowe.

“If they’re out there jumping just for fun, they’re having fun right next to us,” added Matias.

The rare photo captured a sight to respect and admire in this piece of paradise that we call home.

“I think they’re sick, kids love them, they’re scary, but they haven’t bit me yet, we go in the water every time,” said Matias.

The director of the Long Beach Shark Lab added he sees sharks breach the water every other trip out on the ocean.