Several videos of encounters with great white sharks in California have been shared online recently.
The first encounter was shared by Bonnie Brown who filmed a large great white swimming near her boat July 12.
Brown was off New Brighton State Beach on Monterey Bay, which is near Santa Cruz, on a 22-foot boat when she spotted nine white sharks.
She was able to submerge her GoPro camera and filmed a large white shark as it investigated the camera.
“These sharks may have a menacing grin, but they don’t deserve their bad reputation—they were actually quite tranquil and calm throughout the day. I lucked out to have this curious creature give me such a great close-up,” she posted on YouTube.
Another encounter occurred at Dana Point Harbor July 17.
Thor Lars Laizans was fishing the harbor around 10:30 p.m. when he felt a massive tug on the line.
“I knew I hooked something big and powerful,” he told The Orange County Register. “My boat was towed in circles over and over like a merry-go-round through the harbor entrance for an hour and a half or more.”
The angler unknowingly hooked a large great white that was pushing the fisherman’s gear to the limit.
“My rod would go from almost breaking in half to straight and the tension on the line would ease up, so I would crack open a Coke and light up a Marlboro Red, smoke for a minute and then we would continue our fight.”
During the fight, Laizans had his spotlight on the water. Harbor Patrol deputies spotted the spot light and decided to investigate the circling boater.
“When I got the great white shark next to me, the sheriffs came over in their boat to check it out,” he said. “They assisted me in releasing it around midnight unharmed.”
“I’ve never heard of anyone else catching a white shark in the harbor before,” he added.
Once the shark was released, it stayed in the area and came back toward the 9-foot boat.
Laizans thought the shark was being aggressive. On a video he shared on YouTube, he wrote “great white shark comes back after being caught to attack but I hit it over the head with a pipe.”
Great whites are protected in California and if hooked are supposed to be released as soon as identified.
Finally, in Santa Barbara, actor Rob Lowe enjoyed a day paddleboarding near juvenile great whites.
While the event appears harmless, Dr. Stephen Kajiura advises shark enthusiasts to be careful. He warns that you may only see smaller sharks on the surface, but it doesn’t mean there are no larger sharks in deeper waters.
Related: What would you do if you came face to face with a shark?