‘You are paddleboarding next to approximately 15 great white sharks,’ chopper tells Calif. swimmers

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Author: Frieda Powers

“Attention in the water…”

Not the kind of alert you would want to hear on a day at the beach but the chilling warning greeted California swimmers and paddle boarders from an overhead helicopter.

“Attention in the water: This is the Orange County Sheriff’s Department,” came the announcement aboard the sheriff’s chopper Wednesday over Capistrano Beach in Dana Point and San Onofre State Beach in San Clemente.

“Be advised, State Parks is asking us to make an announcement. You are paddleboarding next to approximately 15 great white sharks,” Deputy Brian Stockbridge alerted the swimmers, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“They are advising that you exit the water in a calm manner,” he continued. “The sharks are as close as the surf line.”

Although the beaches remain open in Southern California, advisories are in effect to alert swimmers as great white sharks have migrated to the area.  Young sharks have been drawn to the coastline due to the warm waters and abundant food supply, the LA Times reported.

An aggressive shark had been seen Wednesday at an area known as Church at San Onofre State Beach, a surfing spot where a shark attack occurred on April 29. Leeanne Ericson, 35, suffered significant blood loss after she was bitten on her right thigh and buttock by a shark when she was swimming in the area. She has undergone two surgeries to repair the damage.

Chris Lowe of the Cal State Long Beach Shark Lab told NBC Bay Area News that there were about 10 to 15 young great white sharks off the Long Beach coast Wednesday night.

“I’ve been doing this for 30 years,” he said. “I never thought I’d see the day I’d have baby white sharks in my front yard.”

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