LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Kevin Freeman is a self-proclaimed kite-surfing addict. He’s seen the advisory signs posted along the shore in Long Beach warning of great white sharks, but that isn’t stopping him from jumping in.
“The only time I really think about it a lot is if I lose my board and then I’m dragging through the water and then I feel like I’m just waiting for that scene from ‘Water World’ where he jumps of the back of the boat and the giant monster eats him,” Freeman said.
David Bader of the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific says that’s unlikely to happen. The baby great whites seen reportedly being 10 to 12 feet long off the coast of Long Beach are actually about 5 to 6 feet long,
Bader says the shark sightings are actually a sign that the ocean is healthy and not something to be afraid of.
“I think dangerous is not a word you should use with these sharks because they’re not really dangerous. If you leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone,” Bader says.
Bader says the sharks are here to eat and they’re only interested in other fish, stingrays and smaller sharks.
Capt. Cameron Abel of the Long Beach Fire Department Marine Safety Division has been keeping a close eye on the water. He says the sharks haven’t shown any aggressive behavior toward humans.
“These are juveniles feeding on small fish, they’re not out there hunting for humans, so the best that you can do is leave the sharks alone,” Abel said.
Juvenile great whites were seen here about the same time last year. While Abel says the sharks won’t necessarily go after people in the water, it’s always best to keep your distance and respect their wild environment.