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Worst Beaches for Shark Attacks

Fletcher Cove, Solana Beach

Courtesy of Shea M. Suski

Fletcher Cove, Solana Beach, CA

With 142 unprovoked attacks since 1900, California ranks second in the U.S. for shark attack frequency. The long coastline and perfect weather clearly play a part, but there’s more to it. “Mother Nature has implanted in the sharks that southern California is where they must give birth to ensure the highest rate of survival,” says Ralph S. Collier of the Shark Research Committee. Millions of small fish called grunions spawn along the shore from Point Conception to Baja California, providing the perfect feeding ground for great white sharks. In 2008 Dr. David Martin was fatally mauled at Fletcher Cove. He was in the middle of a pack of swimmers training for a triathlon. “What sharks are attracted to is the splashing,” explains Collier. “It resembles an animal in trouble.”

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