Great white shark attacks kayaker in Santa Cruz, prompts 4-day ocean ban

On Tuesday morning, kayaker Steve Lawson was bumped by a great white shark outside the kelp bed from Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz.

According to KSBW 8, Lawson felt something nudge his kayak and when he looked down it was a great white shark. The shark then attacked the kayak, throwing Lawson into the water.

Lawson used his marine radio to ask for help from the Harbor Patrol, who rescued Lawson uninjured. The attack has prompted the city of Santa Cruz to order “everyone to stay out of the ocean for a 1-mile radius of coastline, between the San Lorenzo River mouth and Fair Avenue, for four days.”

Essentially a four-day ban on water activities at Steamer Lane and the surrounding area, this latest encounter comes after KSBW 8 says surfers spotted a great white shark during the Jack O’Neill memorial paddle out this past Sunday at Pleasure Point.

There have also been a slew of sightings of great whites in the shallows off Capitola, just east of the city of Santa Cruz.

The city is also ordering that all kayak rental shops and surf schools close until Saturday and that children in the junior lifeguard will be restricted to land-based activities.

The city also issued a press release in which they give further details of the ocean ban:

“Per the Santa Cruz County Shark Incident Action Plan, the City will post Main Beach, Cowell Beach and other beach access points within a 1- mile radius of the attack for four days. All water activities at the beach will be prohibited until sunrise Saturday (July 15) morning. Marine safety staff and lifeguards will monitor the area in the meantime.”

If you were planning on surfing anytime soon in Santa Cruz, you can say goodbye to that idea. Thankfully, Lawson was not injured in this incident and it could have been much worse. Another reminder to keep alert while in the ocean and to follow these tips.

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