(KRON) – Shark sightings are becoming more common in certain areas of the country this summer, which of course is a scary sight for those who frequently visit the water. In June, a swimmer was seriously injured off of Lovers Point Beach in Pacific Grove after he was attacked by a shark.
Lovers Point Beach is about 85 miles south of San Francisco, on the southern tip of Monterey Bay. But how common is it to see a shark attack in the Bay Area?
How often do shark attacks happen?
There have been 36 confirmed unprovoked shark attacks in Bay Area counties since 1926, according to Florida Museum’s International Shark Attack File. Attacks have been reported in Sonoma, Marin, San Francisco, Alameda and San Mateo counties.
Sonoma County has had the most shark attacks in that time with 11. Marin County has seen 10 shark attacks, San Mateo County has had nine, San Francisco had five and there was one in Alameda County.
San Diego County topped California with 20 shark attacks, according to the museum’s data. Not all shark attacks mentioned were fatal.
Types of sharks in the area
An abundance of shark species call the Bay Area home. One of them is the great white shark, which was responsible for the Monterey Bay attack in June.
According to SF Bay Wildlife, 21 different species of sharks inhabit the Bay Area. Not all of them are as fierce as great whites – the brown catshark does not grow much longer than two feet. See the full list of sharks HERE.
Bay Area’s lone fatal shark attack
KRON4 was only able to find one confirmed instance of a fatal shark attack in the Bay Area, in 1959. The victim was Albert Kogler, Jr., an 18-year-old student at then San Francisco State College.
According to the Global Shark Attack Fire, Kogler and a friend were treading water at Baker Beach in San Francisco when the attack happened. Kogler’s friend was facing the shore when she heard him scream. She caught a glimpse of the shark, which she said thrashed around for at least three minutes. She saw his head pop above the water and helped him back to the shore, but he died of his injuries.
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A coroner’s report said Kogler had multiple deep lacerations on his skin, tissue and muscles. The shark was believed to be a white shark that was about 15 feet in length.