Newport Beach Shark Sighting

An update from our respected colleagues at The Shark Research Committee.


On September 1, 2008 Scott Hubbard was body surfing with several unidentified friends near Chair 6, Island Avenue, Balboa Peninsula, in Newport Beach. It was 5:00 PM and he had been in the water about 1 hour.

The sky was clear with a 5 – 10 knot off-shore breeze and an estimated air temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The ocean floor was primarily sand and 7 – 10 feet deep with 2 – 3 feet of visibility and a temperature of 62 – 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The surf was running 3 – 5 feet, waist high, with occasional chest high waves.

Hubbard recalled; “I had just returned into the line-up after riding a wave to the shore. I was approximately 30 – 40 yards off shore swimming at a slow, controlled pace. After cresting over the top of a set wave, I noticed a black dorsal fin, 2 feet high, directly in front of my location 30 yards away. The dorsal fin was very damaged in appearance. I was only able to see the dorsal fin, not the actual body.”

“I surf and swim daily and have seen hundreds of dolphins/dolphin dorsal fins while in the water. This was not the typical dolphin sighting. Without hesitation, I alerted my friends in the area and we quickly headed for the beach. Again, I am not positive about this, but I am confident that this was in fact a shark.”

Caution should be exercised when utilizing this location for your ocean water activities.

Source: The Shark Research Committee

Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to either The Shark Research Committee or The Fear Beneath.

  • Maleriefortner

    this is ridiculous! people can be sooo dumb! if u hear about a shark attack that dosent mean to go back in the water! are yo ucrazy!

  • Bobstupak

    I had a similar incident , off playgrounds in newport just north of the wedge, it was about 430 pm slightly overcast and teh water was black in appearance that day. Me and a friend were just paddling out on our body boards and my friend alerted me that the water was swirling to the left behind me as if a submarine was about to surface, as I looked to my right the water swirl came slowly to my around and a slightly beat up shark fin prob 9 inches out of the water , with little jagged slices on the back egde slowly started rising out of the water next to me about 2 and half feet to my right. I have seen dolphins many times this was definately a shark fin , was moving very slow and teh fin simultaneously turned towards me and down into the water , at that point i figured his head was about directly below me and he had obviously circled me , That was enough for me I did what your not supposed to do and kind of freaked out and paddled in as fast as i could, the water being so dark that day i had no idea where he was or if i was gonna be attacked from behind as i paddled in. I think it was a great white for some reason, fin looked just like one atleast.