UPDATE: The National Park Service has issued a warning to swimmers in the Santa Barbara Channel. Watch out for Great Whites this holiday weekend!

A flurry of shocking Great White Shark activity has Santa Barbara residents staying out of the water, fearing for their very lives as a series of shark attacks and sightings have rocked this normally peaceful beach town and shaken ocean-goers to their core.

Over the weekend, a badly mauled sea lion was discovered hanging from a buoy off the “family-friendly” and extremely popular East Beach. The pinniped’s injuries were so extensive that it had to be euthanized at the local Marine Mammal Center. It’s good thing the sharks have yet to acquire a taste for volleyball players and homeless people…

Great White Shark Attacks Sea Lion

This poor creature was the victim of a hollow-eyed remorseless killer. (Credit: Peter Howorth)

Soon after the poor sea lion was dispatched in gruesome fashion, the body of a Great White Shark was found washed up on the beach near the infamously shark-y Rincon Point. Surfers beware – even the directors of Santa Barbara’s Junior Lifeguard program have suspended operations because of the attack’s close location to shore. It appears that every time someone steps into the ocean in Santa Barbara County, they are leaving their life in the hands of Carcharias Carcharodon.

A day later, Rincon beach-goers rescued yet another shark pup and sent it back in to the ocean. Given the sheer quantity of shark pup sightings, it sounds to us as if the Santa Barbara coastline is a Great White Shark breeding ground. Who wants to dive in and do the research?

If one thing is clear, it’s this: Santa Barbara residents are advised to stay out of the ocean as much as possible – that is, if you don’t want to be lunch for the next Great White Shark that comes along.

(Photo credits to Peter Howorth.)

  • olive

    I can not believe you would say this. You are trying to sound educated by using the word carcharias carcharodon inplace of great white shark, but you are clearly extremely uneducated. First of all calling a shark a ” hollow-eyed remorseless killer” is so extremely screwed up. Sharks need to eat, just like we do, and its one thing to show an image of a indured human, but showing a seal, that is so ridiculous, that is like saying that a sea lions are hollow-eyed remorseless killers because they eat fish. It is the same exact thing.

  • merlendechien

    Hollow-eyed remorseless killer? It is a fish doing what fish do, eating. I bet the writer of this article chows down on a gentle bovine with out remorse. Shameless biased humans being the ever glorious specieist.

  • Guest91

    How arrogant are all of you saying that sharks are nothing more than mindless, murdering, abominations that need to be wiped out! Those creatures have been evolving on this planet for 400 MILLION YEARS! Our species of human has only been around for roughly 120,000 years. As far as I’m concerned, Humans are the mindless murdering bunch. Between genocide and organized war campaigns, we ruthlessly murder millions our own kind and you want to turn around and continue to kill millions of sharks for merely existing and feeding in THEIR OWN ENVIRONMENTS!? It’s no secret sharks are opportunistic predators.The minute you enter the water, you take full responsibility for what happens to you. You look like food in a dark wet suit while surfing, your chances of being mistaken for food go up. Get over yourselves and take your hypocrisy and shove it!

    This website is a sham and a horrific representation of “supposed” shark information. I’m sorry I ever stumbled upon it. Here’s a crazy idea, just kill all the humans because WE are the ones who kill off our own species the most; that’s the same mindset you all have towards sharks. We are the most dangerous thing to ourselves, not sharks whom contribute, on average, less than 20 fatalities a year to human kind.

  • Apacheizm23

    I am just a regular Joe Blow, and this web site is all BS!

    • Jim Slim

      JS: Knock, Knock,

      Apacheizm23: Who’s there?

      JS: Go fuck yourself you uppity bitch.

  • qwertgbvcf

    !#%$ u drudown

  • asdfg

    martin brody is an a hole

  • Martin Brody is Dumb

    You are pretty dumb Martin Brody… People like you should be refrained from the luxury of freedom of speech.

  • Anon

    “The Fear Beneath was founded in the Spring of 1975 on Amity Island, New England, rooted in the ideology of public safety advocacy, shark education, and marine conservation.Since that time, The Fear Beneath has become the world’s premier source of breaking shark attack news and information, as well as providing resources on shark attacks, shark sightings, and shark-related information all across the world.Here at The Fear Beneath we are constantly seeking out strategic alliances that benefit all parties – collaborating with The Shark Research Committee, The International Shark Attack File, and the founders ofShark Camo, among others.”This quote is directly from this websites “About” section. You testify to educate about and promote marine conservation. Talk about major hypocrisy. Would any of these affiliates agree with this article you’ve so brazenly published?

    This is classic fear-mongering, and you should be ashamed if you consider yourself a reputable source for news concerning sharks in our oceans. I believe the real “hollow-eyed, remorseless” monster sat behind a computer screen and wrote this article.

  • beachBUM

    Dude. I live in a little beach community 15 min south of Santa Barbara.  Why did I not know people were afraid to go into the water??  Sharks???    

  • Lins137

    poor sea lion hes praobably in alot of pain!!!;|

  • Taradan

    Hollow-eyed remorseless killer.
    What are you people thinking?
    It’s a shark going after prey, just like prople eat cows and sheep and, oh gosh i don’t know SHARKS!!
    Thank you very much, even with the incredibully biased articles on this website i would love to dive in and do the research AND I’M FOURTEEN.
    Sharks are  hunters, we are hunters. get over yourselves.

  • Guest

    Never seen a shittier article or site

  • Muxyluv

    fuckin retards i tell ya

  • Tricia

    Hollow-eyed, remorseless killer? HA! Hmm. Food chain, circle of life and all that. Sharks are an important part of our ecosystem. What are they supposed to eat? Kelp? Are seals and sea lions hollow-eyes remorseless killers beacuse they eat fish? This site is crap.

  • Shady Pines, Ma

    I could give a shit about the shark… did they try to save this poor little seal? I hope not…I hope they did the right thing and put it out of its misery. :(

    • Shady Pines, Ma

      Whoops, sorry, everyone… I missed that line about the seal getting put down when my phone rang.

  • Rubylarios12

    i love shaks and what i think is that the get mad cuz we are in thier home and some people out even fish for shaks

  • Bashiros

    Martin Brody is a hero to me when it comes to what he does best. He is a coward to me when the fight against toxic waste is constantly dumped on the coatal lines of Somalia’s Indian ocean.

    I still wait the day he start real Ocean Conservation work for Somalia.

  • Ilovesharks86

    I myself have dived with big sharks and, when we go in the water we ar in there home ,People seem to forget that .

  • Rowan Watt-Pringle

    That’s a very selfish attitude and one that most surfers would not agree with. If you enter the ocean you do so with full knowledge of the creatures that inhabit it… it is your choice to surf – if you’re too scared of the very minor chance of being the victim of a shark attack, find something else to do. I hope not all aspiring biologists are as narrow-minded as this or we’ll be in big trouble… Have they taught you nothing about what the removal of an apex predator will do to ocean ecosystems??? I despair…

    • Russell

      Rowan: WE are the apex predator. We could wipe out the stupid sharks should we choose. They on the other hand, can’t wipe us out.

      Go back to school and educate yourself on the “Apex” predator.

  • Rowan Watt-Pringle

    People who have no idea about the wild and jump out of their cars and go wandering around the bush would get taken out by land-based predators (in places of the world where they haven’t been completely hunted out by man) like lions. The chance of being attacked by a shark while swimming in the ocean is miniscule in comparison. Yes, people get attacked by sharks from time to time… is this blown out of all proportion by the media? Absolutley. On average you can count the number of reported shark attacks each year that occur worldwide on your hands – that includes ALL species of shark and all non-fatal attacks… considering the millions of people who enter the oceans each year, it’s hardly surprising some people get attacked. it hardly makes them murderous animals. Murder implies motive (other than natural instinct) – the only animal capable of that is man. Unless you think there’s a shark conspiracy to kill off the strongest swimmers around in revenge for the millions of their kind we kill every year for fun/fins/out of fear

  • Rowan Watt-Pringle

    This is a disgusting and ridiculous article. For someone that claims to be educating people about sharks, you really are managing to do a terrible job of it. It’s articles like this that fuel false stereotypes and your absurdly sensationalist writing is truly cringeworthy. What you’re actually reporting on here – shock, horror: Predator attempts to eat prey species… newsflash!! Ocean is home to sharks… sharks have babies… people run screaming for their lives. This fear-mongering seems to be a pathetic attempt to drum up anti-shark sentiment and your caption for the picture sums it up: “This poor creature was the victim of a hollow-eyed remorseless killer.” what a load of BS. Are the fish that the sealion preys on also victims of a remorseless killer or is it because it just looks SO cute and cuddly that this is a travesty? So this ‘series of shark attacks and sightings’ that is making people fear for their lives actually involves NO attacks on humans, ONE attack on the shark’s usual food source, and people spotting some sharks in the sea? WELL DONE you should win an award.

  • Fuzzwah7

    Recent studies have shown that great whites will eat humans if hungry… stop the old rhetoric that we aren’t on the menu. We might not be at the top of their food choices but given the opportunity they will strike… let a person bleed out and then go back to finish them. There have even been recorded events of 2 great whites working as a team to devour a person… old school stupidity.

    • BbotSB

      My BS meter just spiked. Recent studies? Provide a link please.

  • guest

    I’m a undergraduate biology student at the UCSB and avid surfer. Personally, I hate great whites, and wouldn’t mind seeing them gone.

    • Russell

      Good. We need to cull that herd before more humans are killed. Anyone opposed to said culling doesn’t believe of the supremacy of man over animal.

      • Guest

        There is no supremacy of man over animal. We are animals too.
        Look at us, killing each other, messing up the world and killing other animals for fun.
        No other animal does that.

  • Martha Mann

    I was hoping to get a picture somewhere of a baby great white. I’m pretty sure that I saw one washed up on the beach at Mesa Lane in Santa Barbara on Tues. afternoon Aug 24, 2010. It was about 3ft long but it’s teeth looked like it could do some serious damage!

  • Tim R Alcoser JR

    If people are that afraid of going to the beach for a swim or going Scuba Diving, then you should probably cancel your flight to see the family this Christmas too or go for a walk to your grocery store instead of risking a drive in the car…no wait, don’t walk either, because something COULD happen to you there too. Instead, pay for a service to have it delivered…hmm, nah, the guy delivering it could be a rapist or something…owell, we’re all screwed. Life is so bad in fact, I guess I’ll commit suicide before anything else has the pleasure of getting me first.

    Actually, i’m enrolled in a Scuba Diving Class this Semester and am planning many trips to Laguna Beach and Catalina. I’m sure i’ll be fine….

    And yes, this site is way one sided….

  • Sez_mai

    sharks can not be kept in captivity it is there ocean n if u wish to swim in it , your the one taking a chance…no animal should be kept for human amusement…how about we put all the humans in a cage and treat them like shit and beat n torture them…all animals should be free!!

    • OSU marine bio student

      yaaaa…lets just get rid of dogs and cats. Abolish zoo’s too, where most of our research is done. Most of what we know about animals, we know because we brought them to us. This is one of the most illusive animals to us and from an academic pov, we should continue attempting to bring these animals into captivity to study them. Sharks can be kept in captivity, great whites have a problem with it. Monteray bay aquarium kept a great white alive and in captivity for over 6 months before releasing it, so it IS possible and in my opinion necessary.


    WAT U on aboutu all dumb noobs il ownu->




    i own noobz

  • Drudown_1

    “Just like wolves got screwed by little red cap.”

    Are you talking about your dog’s (ahem) “lipstick”?

    This is a very, very serious (deadly serious?) shark forum, not a red geishka zoophilia blog.

    • CaninusGirl

      Red cap is another way of saying red hood. As in Little Red Riding Hood, and the way it portrayed wolves. It’s not the traditional morality tale, and really just sets out to make wolves seem truly evil.
      However, wolves, like sharks, are opurtunistic eaters, if you are in their path, they smell you or see you, they will try and eat you (ask marine biologists- they will have a go regardles of whether they have just eaten or not).
      One could argue that wolves are even more ruthless, as they use pack tactics, hunting together to bring down their prey, usually using methods such as tearing out their throats or disembowelling them, whether they are fuzzy little animals or, in the odd case, humans.
      And lets not forget Hippopotami, who don’t have nearly as much propaganda for their lack of fearsome appearance. Let’s campaign to kill off ten’s of them everytime someone in a remote part of Africa is attacked.
      Lions too. Crocodiles, snakes…
      Honestly, all sarcasm aside, people seem to forget that Humans are just another type of animal. We are made of meat. We are acceptable prey if we are in the territory of an animal, or if said animal feels threatened. This is the same as when wild animals wander into “our” territory. We feel threatened and we kill them, or we send them back to their own territory, because, being as evolved as (some of us) are, we have the compassion and capability to do so.
      Perhaps we can agree that, sharks as a generalisation DO eat humans, as prey. We, humans, are not amphibious (as someone suggested further up the line of comments, simply because we have the ability to swim. We are not adapted for it (gills, fins, second eyelids, etc) and are classified as LAND mammals. You are not expressing an opinion, you are simply wrong) and so we have no defense against marine predators. Even the best of our swimmers are clumsy and bumbling in contrast to the average fish. So our chances of surviving an attack when we enter their territory, are dramatically reduced.
      And on a finishing note, Einstein, in all his wisdom and vision beyond his years, said that without the humble Bee, the earth would die. Marine Biologists have dedicated their lives to the study of the marine ecosystem and the majority of them (I’m not presumptuous enough to say all) agree that the shark is, in that respect, the marine equivalent of the Bee.
      Please, only someone with a qualification in marine sciences, zoology, biology or equivalent animal sciences contradict anything I’ve said, because anyone else is just being ignorant.

      • Teach54life

        Just came across this site…I love all the information.  I have shared it with my 4th graders. 

        Thanks MB.

  • Katherine

    Do you have a life insurance policy that covers death by forseeable shark attack?

    You should.

  • TriNewbie

    I’m doing my first triathlon in Sta. Barbara at the end of the month! Hopefully, it would be a memorable experience…in a good way. :-(

  • Xanderb Cummings

    thank you are appsolotley correct

  • Xanderb Cummings

    of corse it is a great white
    thats a bite of a 8 month to a 1year baby great white

  • Xanderb Cummings

    it is sad to see this but you cant kill the shark. try to A capture it and put it in an aquarium so people can see it and so you can be the 1st to have a great white in captivity or B capture it and move it to a diffrent area

  • Thiswebsitesucks

    Orcas kill humans but they were in free willy instead of yaws so that makes them cuter :)
    Just like wolves got screwed by little red cap.

    You think that they are ruthless because they feed in their territory???
    For every person killed by a shark we have killed millions of sharks. So what does that make us?? I think that they are allowed to eat, at least they kill a lot less animals to feed themselves than humans do.

    I'm comming to Santa Barbara in two weeks (from the Netherlands) and ill go surfing.

    Good luck with your land-based activities Martin I hope you get bit by a snake.
    Or hmm hit by litening so you can make fear and responsively stay indoors with your propaganda.

  • Drudown

    Do orcas kill and eat humans? No.

    Do White sharks, Tiger sharks, Bull sharks and Oceanic Whitetip sharks? Yes.

    How can so credibly contend they aren't ruthless? Do they have feelings or the capacity to experience remorse? No, they are ruthless.

    If they eat human beings, how can you say they aren't man eaters?


  • Maddie34

    ur rude u know that baby seal is badly hurt

  • Khellek

    You ahole. It might be a shark, but not a great white. You're an ignorant, overzealous douche.

  • pathmt

    lol, get out of here with your propaganda. Of course you should not try to swin around and pet sharks, but neither should you portray them as ruthless man-eating killing machines, that would be childish. We have to accept that sharks are predators, but humans are not on their list of animals to prey on. But occasionally we'll get attacked by them, as long as we are swimming around in the same areas they do. And btw. are you afraid of Orcas as well?

  • Feygrrrl

    if you hate sharks and don't want to get eaten, STAY OUT OF THE OCEAN AND SWIM IN A KIDDIE POOL. The beaches and the surf don't belong to you. The sharks have been here long before we were. There are several reasons for an attack. Mistaken identity, territorial issues, curiosity, and idiot people who think it's okay to wear yellow in the water and swim in coastal areas where sharks abound, especially in seal breeding seasons. FFS, you guys are idiots. They are not “ruthless killers,” we are. We systematically murder and rape our own kind without remorse, and although these “people” are ruthless, evil, and perpetuate, they achieve undeserved sympathy. We cause all of the world's problems. We do.

  • guest2

    i agree with 'guest' and having seen large shark massacres for just their fins horrifies me. comments on this page are irresponsible to continue to instill fears about a group of incredibly beautiful and important marine organisms. Shame on you!

  • Drudown_1

    Nice try- those are not Salmon sharks.

    Salmon sharks are in much, much colder water.

    • Svcgarcia

      A salmon shark washed up on the beach near San Juan Capistrano here in SoCal. So nice try Drudown_1, salmon sharks are NOT just found in much colder water.

      • Drudown_1

        Most people claim legitimate sightings of juvenile White sharks in SoCal (where I live) are, in fact, Salmon sharks. Not so.

        Salmon sharks are typically in much, much colder water in the North Pacific. Sorry, that is a fact.

        What is your point? That a Salmon shark washing up here is news? An oceanic Whitetip showed up off Scandanavia.

  • Drudown1

    That is a complete non sequitur.

    White sharks often attack pinnipeds with a single, massive bite and let the victim bleed to death.

    Human victims are saved by other humans during the interim.

  • Drudown_1

    Is that so?

    Then reconcile your BS statement with what just happened to Lloyd Skinner in Fish Hoek, South Africa. He was E-A-T-E-N by a White shark. Simpletons like you just want to rewrite History, as if, in the end, the movie JAWS wasn't inspired by a real dynamic, i.e., White sharks have occasion (albeit rarely) to attack and consume people. It isn't a case of “mistaken identity” (just youtube search 'shark takes woman's leg' to disprove that baloney), it is a case of a GENERALIST feeder eating a 100% edible, seafaring primate. At some point, people have to accept that humans are a naturally occurring species in the White shark's ecosystem, whether people “think” we belong on land or not.

    If “to enter the water, is to enter the food chain”, we have been a part of their food chain for a long, long time. So, when the White shark was opened up in 1916 and had 3 human bodies in it, it was nothing new then, and what happened at Fish Hoek was nothing new either.

    The pro-conservation BS that “White sharks do NOT eat humans” is the only “new” thing, and it is just that, BS.

    • LJ

      Look, man was given dominion over the earth to rule along with all the creatures on it so, the ocean is not theirs. It is ours to keep alive and well and flourishing. If we think that Great Whites are too menacing for surfers then we should take em out. However, we should be prepared to counter the affects of this. I am also all for driving to extinction any T-Rex that wants to chomp on folks that go camping. If the thing is too dangerous to human life then take it out. I mean, if the sea lion population gets to large, could we not fix that? How do they taste? What is the big deal about killing off the GW?

  • Rex

    The only thing “bullshit” is your claimed manhood.

  • Guest

    If they were deliberate killing machines, nobody would survive an attack.

    • Russell

      Duh, tell you what, let’s leave people in the water AFTER they’ve been bit and we’ll see if the shark comes back to finish it’s meal. What say ye?

      We’re humans, we don’t leave a person in the water to be eaten after they’ve been bit. Duh.

  • Sashjamb

    Martin, I am just a surfer, but even I can tell that these are salmon sharks, not baby great whites. Your responsibility as a journalist lies with research and confirmation before reporting any story. I hope you learn from your mistakes; I am interested in your development.

  • PeeCee

    It seems like we have a true racist on our hands here!

    I, for one, am deeply offended. Do you prefer sharks over humans?

    Are you a biologist or a bigot?

    • CaninusGirl

      I can’t go past this anymore. Anywhere someone perceives discrimination of any kind they call it racism. NO.
      I remember way back to senior high school, where we were assigned oral presentations on prejudice and discrimination, and one girl opened her speech with “There are all types of racism, but one of the worst types is racism against women.” That is SEXism. Discrimination based on gender.
      What you were attempting to accuse ‘Concerned Biologist’ of is speciesism. And, in fact, by placing a higher value on human life in general over shark life in general YOU are being speciesist.
      Please think people! Not all discrimination is racism, don’t accuse people of such a grotesque behaviour unless that is the discrimination they are displaying.
      And on a final note, humans are the only animals ‘evolved’ enough to display speciesism outside the survival instinct.

  • Guest

    This is a horrible representation of the natural process of the great white pupping season. I am astonished that you would print such biased information. Great white sharks are diminishing and it is great to hear there are so many pups feeding off our coast. Keep biodiversity alive I say!
    Concerned Biologist

  • Ron279


    Great white sharks do not attack people? Are you retarded? There have been recent attacks where great white sharks have gone in for a second bite on HUMANS. Why do you apologize for these murderous animals? They are deliberate killing machines.

    • Guest

      And we’re not???

  • Sharkboy

    These sharks don't eat people!..If it were to attack you it would only try to get a taste, then after realizing you are not a seal it would leave you. If attacked by a shark, they would have found him by now.

    • Russell

      They don’t eat people? What are you talking about? Of course they eat people. Duh.

  • lolaval

    Whoa, whoa, whoa! Every one needs to relax! Jaws was just a movie REMEMBER. Yes please be cautious when swimming in the ocean. It is their territory, not ours. But we don't need to act like some major shark attack phenom is going on here. I live in SB and no one is freaking out over these sightings and I certainly haven't noticed any blood stained waters or bodies rushing up on our beaches.

  • New to SB

    @Kat Girl

    The so called Public Safety Monitor seems to be suggesting at least the possibility of a great white shark being responsible for murdering one of our heroes, a firefighter. I was not aware that great white sharks were even in the waters of Santa Barbara or Gaviota until all of these recent headlines. I am disturbed to say the least. In my opinion with all the recent news of great white sharks off Santa Barbara I would not be surprised to find our hero firefighter in the belly of a great white shark. He should be fighting fires. Very, very SAD.

  • Kat Girl

    Why do you make outrageous claims that will only upset this poor man's loved ones? I pray for his recovery and your demise.

  • Guest

    this website is all bullshit :)

    • Marty

      The only thing “bullshit” is your claimed manhood. Now fuck off.

    • Hoss Till

      The only thing “bullshit” is your claimed manhood. Now FUCK OFF.


    Blood! Blood! Yes! Yes! I want shark attacks…


  • Realzee


    This is very scary stuff. Don't you have a duty to the public to raise the shark alert level in Santa Barbara County from HIGH to SEVERE? Do you want blood on your blog pages?

    Thank you for your continued hard-hitting and exclusive reporting of shark attacks in Santa Barbara County.


    A Loyal (and Concerned) Reader

  • Public Safety Monitor

    How about the young firefighter who disappeared off Gaviota while fishing in his kayak a week ago?

    I have not heard anyone mention the possibility of a great white shark attack.

    I seriously fear that a great white shark may have been responsible for this tragedy.