5 California Beaches Where Shark Attacks Are Most Common

Four shark attacks in California’s Golden State were officially reported last year. Although this number is far smaller than that of Florida and Hawaii, which had the highest number of attacks, these states did not report any fatalities in contrast to California.

Actually, there was only one shark-related death reported in the United States in 2021, and it happened in San Luis Obispo County, California. There have been two cases reported in the state this year, bringing the total to almost 130 since 1882! Continue reading if you’ve ever wondered which California beaches get the most shark attacks.

Where Were the Last Six Shark Attacks in California?

The last six shark attacks in California happened in 2022—between last year and this one. Four shark attacks happened at Sonoma, San Mateo, Los Angeles, and San Luis Obispo counties last year: North Salmon Creek Beach, Gray Whale Cove State Beach, Catalina Island, and Morro Strand State Beach. On Morro Strand State Beach, there was only one death that was reported.

In California, there have been two attacks reported so far this year. The locations of these attacks were San Miguel Island in Santa Barbara County and Pacific Grove in Monterey County. Fortunately, no one was killed in any of those two occurrences.

Let’s examine each of these occurrences in more detail.

June 25, 2021, at Gray Whale Cove State Beach in San Mateo County

The first California shark attack of 2021 happened on June 25, 2021, at Gray Whale Cove State Beach. CNN reports that the event happened at approximately 9:15 a.m. A Californian snorkeler searching the ocean floor for crustaceans was ambushed by a great white shark. Although the little shark bit his upper right thigh, he made it out alive.

June 30, 2021, Catalina Island, Los Angeles County

A young person attending a Boy Scout camp on Catalina Island was the victim of the second shark attack in California in 2021. The victim’s hand was nearly severed by the suspected great white shark, according to Tracking Sharks, when it raised their boat just a little bit out of the water. But the young man’s finger was spared since he arrived at the hospital in time.

October 3, 2021, North Salmon Creek Beach, Sonoma County

The third victim of a shark attack in California for 2021 was surfing at Bodega Bay’s North Salmon Creek Beach when a great white shark bit his leg and pulled him to the bottom. He smacked the shark in the face after realizing what was going on, but the blow struck the shark’s teeth instead, seriously hurting him.

Fortunately, the shark released his leg, allowing him to push it aside and swim to safety. Even a month after the attack, he was still in a lot of pain, according to Press Democrat. He managed to survive it.

December 24, 2021, at Morro Strand State Beach in San Luis Obispo County

Morro Strand State Beach was the scene of the most recent attack in California last year. The victim was attacked by what seemed to be a great white shark as he was bodyboarding and tethered to his board. According to reports from the San Luis Obispo Tribune, he was injured in the right shoulder, right chest cavity, and head. He sadly did not make it out of the onslaught.

County of Santa Barbara, February 26, 2022

On February 26, 2022, the first California shark attack of the year took place. A great white shark attacked a party of divers as they were looking for lobsters, according to Tracking Sharks. However, spearfishing, which is known to agitate sharks, was being done by some other divers in the vicinity. Her long fins helped shield her from some of the shark’s bites even though it still attacked her feet. The diver’s foot was injured, but she made it through.

June 22, 2022, Pacific Grove, Monterey County

Pacific Grove saw the second—and perhaps final—shark attack in California this year. The victim was attacked by what seemed to be a great white shark as he was swimming. Fortunately, he was not killed in the attack, even though he was wounded in the arm, leg, and body. The patient underwent successful treatment, and the Monterey Herald reports that a full recovery is anticipated.

Which Californian beaches have the highest number of shark attacks?

The top 5 counties in California with the highest number of shark attacks are San Diego, Humboldt, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Monterey, according to the International Shark Attack File. While some beaches in these counties have had numerous reports of shark attacks, others have never had one. These five beaches in California have had at least seven shark bite reports.

La Jolla

La Jolla is a sophisticated neighborhood or seaside district with long coastlines and dozens of beaches. With at least 12 bites—seven of which were unprovoked—its beaches have seen the highest number of shark attacks in California. It is hardly surprising that it is in San Diego, the most bite-prone county in California, with at least 35 bite reports (of which around 20 were unprovoked).

State Beach San Onofre

Shark attacks are common in San Onofre State Beach, a 3,000-acre park in San Diego County, California, which is also one of the state park’s most popular destinations. Since the park’s founding in 1971, at least 8 shark attacks have been documented.

Bay of Humboldt

Humboldt County is home to Humboldt Bay, a natural bay. In addition, the bay has a bar-built coastal lagoon with a wide variety of plant and animal life. Up to 100 plant species, 100 fish species, 200 bird species, and 300 invertebrate species are thought to reside there. The fact that the bay has seen at least 8 shark attacks is hardly surprising.

Salmon Creek Beach

Salmon Creek Beach is a nearly two-mile beach located in Sonoma County, California. When the waves are good, surfers particularly like visiting the beaches on Salmon Creek North and South. Since its founding, Salmon Creek Beach has documented at least 8 events, including one non-fatal incident that occurred in 2021.

Beach Huntington

In spite of its name, Huntington Beach is a 28.33 square mile city in Orange County, California, not a beach. Since its creation, there have been at least seven documented shark attacks at this beach. The fourth-biggest city in Orange County, Huntington coastline is well-known for its 8.5-mile coastline. It is an excellent place to surf because to its great climate, gorgeous sands, and generally moderate waters, earning it the moniker “surf city.”

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