3 shark attacks have Mexico resort area in panic

No one could even remember a shark attack along this resort-studded stretch of Mexican coast popular with surfers and Hollywood's elite. Many of the large predators had been pulled from the ocean by fishermen.

So when sharks attacked three surfers in less than a month, two fatally, it was unthinkable, the AP reported.

The latest attack came Saturday, when a shark chomped down on the arm of surfing enthusiast Bruce Grimes, an American expat who runs a surf shop in Zihuatanejo.

Grimes and a handful of other surfers were out on dark, choppy waters when he felt something lift his board. He managed about five strokes before teeth sank into his arm. "Shark!" he screamed, wresting his arm back. Grimes made it to shore, escaping with a few gashes.

"There wasn't any time to panic," he said. "I thought: 'Don't want to die. Don't want to lose my arm.'"

Only later did the 49-year-old Florida native learn a local surfer had been killed by a shark at a neighboring beach the previous day. Less than a month before that, a visitor from San Francisco was killed while surfing another nearby beach.

Before that, shark attacks were unheard of here. University of Florida expert George Burgess was in the area Wednesday interviewing witnesses, going over autopsy reports and checking out beaches to find out why the sharks had suddenly become so aggressive.

Burgess' International Shark Attack File records an average of only four fatal shark attacks around the world each year. This year, there has been only one other recorded shark fatality outside Mexico - a 66-year-old surfer killed at Solana Beach, Calif.

The attacks around Zihuatanejo have puzzled experts and, alarmingly for local businesses, the mayhem is keeping tourists away.

After the first fatality, panicked officials strung lines of baited hooks offshore and slaughtered dozens of sharks, drawing international criticism. Authorities planned to meet Thursday to seek Burgess' advice.

Marine biologist Chris Lowe, who runs the shark lab at California State University, Long Beach, said there is little officials can do beyond trying to keep people out of the water and studying why sharks have suddenly turned so aggressive. Hunts don't usually help, he said.

Lowe also said officials should keep the attacks in perspective.

"People have a much better chance of dying of food poisoning going to Mexico than being bitten by a shark," he said. "It's far more dangerous driving to the beach than it is getting in the water."

The International Shark File has found that attacks have been increasing over the past century, mostly because of the growing popularity of water sports like surfing.

That's part of the reason experts say shark hunting is futile: Even as shark populations are declining, the number people swimming in the ocean is increasing.

"Finding the killer shark is nearly impossible," said Jose Leonardo Castillo, the chief shark investigator for Mexico's National Fishing Institute.

Mexican experts are planning a catch-and-release study to determine the species of sharks that has been attacking. And maritime officials, stung by the backlash over the shark hunt, have switched to conducting sea and aerial patrols to watch for sharks near shore.

After repeated appeals by environmentalists, officials have promised to post large warning signs on beaches where sharks have attacked - a dreaded prospect for some in the surfing business.

"Those signs will be the worst thing for us," said Herberto Perez Yanez, who teaches surfing and rents out boards at Troncones beach, where 24-year-old Adrian Ruiz of San Francisco was killed April 28.

"Plenty of fishermen out here hunt sharks, and no one says anything. The ecologists say they don't want the hunt, but they're just sitting in their offices while we have to be here," he said.

Perez Yanez was interviewed while giving surfing lessons to a couple from Texas - the only two people in the water at Troncones and his first clients since Ruiz died. He usually teaches three groups a week.

Lisa Rabon, of Walnut Springs, Texas, said she and her husband came to celebrate her 50th birthday and fulfill her lifelong dream of learning to surf. She didn't learn of the attacks until after arriving and said she has seen hardly anyone else in the water.

"I've been hearing about the attacks, but I didn't ask for any details. I didn't want it to be part of my experience," she said. "If I think about sharks, I'll never learn."

Leon Perez Yanez, brother of Herberto and president of the Guerrero state surfers association, said at least three groups canceled surfing lessons with him since the weekend attacks.

Grimes said he was worried about his own business - a surf shop he opened six months ago when he decided to move to Zihuatanejo permanently after 25 years of visiting.

But he said he will soon be back on his board, and is sure most surfers won't stay away long because they accept the risks of their sport.

"I'll go right back. Yeah, I'm that stupid," Grimes said, examining his bandaged arm outside the hospital where he just had his daily cleaning. "I'll go right back out as soon as I'm able to."

That is part of the problem, said Lowe, an avid surfer himself. With more people in the water, in more remote locations, attacks are inevitable.

"For every shark we take out of the water, we put 10 people in," he said. "The bottom line is the ocean is a wild environment and people just have to accept the risks when they go in it."

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Turkey notes decrease in number of used vehicles
Turkey notes decrease in number of used vehicles
Turkey's value for steel export to Turkmenistan growing
Turkey's value for steel export to Turkmenistan growing
Turkey shares data on ships received at Bartin port in 9M2021
Turkey shares data on ships received at Bartin port in 9M2021
Loading Bars
Latest
Kazakhstan eyes completing main reconstruction work of Kostanay airport by end of 2021
SOFAZ reveals revenues from Shah Deniz, ACG
Kazakhstan, Mongolia agree to continue co-op in agro-industrial complex
Iran's East Azerbaijan province continues investments in construction projects
Iran invites investors to develop energy sector
First Vice President of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva shares photos from visit to Gubadli district with President Ilham Aliyev (PHOTO)
Iran seeks to curb inflation by aid of private sector
Kyrgyzstan plans to receive USD 80 mln from ADB for budget support
Kazakhstan’s National Bank changes base rate
Weekly review of trading at Turkmenistan's commodity exchange
Azerbaijan sees increase in turnover of payment cards
Kazakhstan’s National Bank reveals inflation rate for September 2021
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva meet with general public of Gubadli district
President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva inaugurate 'Gubadli' substation
Turkey notes decrease in number of used vehicles
Prices on some food items soar in Iran
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva attend opening of new complex of SBS military unit in Gubadli distict
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva attend groundbreaking ceremony for Khanlig-Gubadli road
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva visit Gubadli district
5th edition of DokuBaku International Documentary Film Festival to be held in Baku
Iran shares data on electricity generation of Esfahan TPP
Activity of certain enterprises in Iran's industrial parks resumed
Iran announces amount of loans issued to manufacturing enterprises
Turkey's value for steel export to Turkmenistan growing
Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan look to sign agreements in transport sector (Exclusive)
Iran, Germany to hold Joint Energy Committee meeting
Iran seeks to increase export of technical services to neighboring countries
Overall index of the Tehran Stock Exchange drops hard
Azerbaijan's trade turnover with US down in 9M2021
Georgia's sheep exports up
Many countries confirm efficacy of Sputnik V vaccine after a year use
Turkmen enterprise shares plans on processing sugar beet
Cargo movements in Iranian ports soar
Turkey shares data on ships received at Bartin port in 9M2021
Iran and Venezuela consider trading via gold and cryptocurrency transactions
ABB sees decrease in net working capital
ABB anticipates comparable revenue growth of 6-8% for full-year 2021
AT&T opens new Tel Aviv R&D center
First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva posts photo from Gubadli district on her Instagram page (PHOTO)
Volume of Azerbaijani gas exports to Turkey disclosed
Saudi imports from UAE jump back up in August
Kazakh oil company opens tender to buy pipes
Kazakhstan decreases cargo transport via internal waters
Kazakh oilfield construction company opens tender to buy welding equipment
Turkmenistan to introduce telematics systems into agriculture
Kazakhstan's Samruk-Kazyna places five-year debut Eurobonds
Weekly review of Azerbaijani oil market
Georgia releases data on COVID-19 cases for October 25
OPEC under strong pressure to do something in order to lower oil prices
Azerbaijan records surge in tourist inflow
US senator signs Declaration on Azerbaijan's Restoration of Independence Day (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan reveals data on exports to Turkey for 9M2021
TAP consortium reveals time of starting hydrogen supplies
PayPal says it is not pursuing acquisition of Pinterest
Volume of TAP’s gas transportation by end-2021 announced
Prices for gasoline to start 2022 at higher levels
Iranian currency rates for October 25
Azerbaijani servicemen in reserve conducting drills
Number of ships received at Turkish Botas port for 9M2021 revealed
Value of Turkey's leather goods export to Azerbaijan up in September 2021
Azerbaijan establishes radio and television broadcasting in Gubadli (PHOTO)
Zangazur corridor - new reality created by Azerbaijan in region
BHOS student: ‘The liberation of Gubadli made me a Presidential Scholar’
Turkey records surge in number of registered Azerbaijani companies for 9M2021
HSBC surprises with 74% rise in Q3 profit and $2 bln buyback
President of Azerbaijan to pay visit to Turkey
Iran discloses data on annual mining extraction in South Khorasan Province
Iran shares trade data with African countries
Iran’s PEDEC to accelerate work on oil fields
Volume of cargo loaded/unloaded in Iran’s Dayyer port grows
National Iranian South Oil Company repairs equipment, spare parts
Oil prices extend gains to multi-year highs on tight supply
Iran boosts caviar exports
Monthly sales of goods at Iran Mercantile Exchange revealed
Iran's extraction from South Pars gas field to decrease
Iran shares data on tax revenues
Iran could become gas importer – NIOC
Iran extraction data on its from South Pars gas field
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to rise
Chinese President Xi calls for global cooperation on terrorism, climate change
Sudan PM Hamdok is under house arrest: Report
New private sector led growth model can help Azerbaijan diversify its economy – IFC regional manager (Exclusive)
Kazakhstan logs 1,573 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hr
IS claims responsibility for bomb attack in Uganda
Tesla pulls its new Full Self-Driving beta due to software 'issues'
Turkey reports 24,792 daily COVID-19 cases
At least 4 dead in avalanche on Ecuador's volcano
Zika virus case reported in northern India
Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister says OPEC will not change its strategy
Hurricane Rick edges closer to Mexican coast north of Acapulco
Israeli-led research reveals plant mechanism for dealing with water shortage
Chronicles of Victory: President Ilham Aliyev announces that Gubadli city is freed from occupation on October 25, 2020
Chronicles of Victory: President Ilham Aliyev gave interview to US Fox News TV channel on October 25, 2020 (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Chronicles of Victory: October 25, 2020
116 illegal migrants rescued off Libyan coast
Azerbaijani Navy officers successfully completes internship in Turkey (PHOTO)
Military training session to be held in military unit of Azerbaijani MoD
At least 25, including minors, died in illegal refinery blast in Nigeria
Iran’s RCS receives 30th batch of COVID-19 vaccine
Mandatory vaccination issue to be solved in November, NCDC Head says
All news