Sharks get close to popular North Shore beach
Murky waters, and schools of fish are drawing sharks close to Waimea Bay's shore. The beach remains open with shark sighting signs posted along the beach. Swimmers are asked to heed the warnings, but those who enter, swim at their own risk.
Known for its surf, its long stretch of white sandy beach, and the towering jumping rock, North Shore's Waimea Bay has always been a hit for locals and visitors. These days, visitors in the shallower waters have company.
Micheal Harbowy is a resident fishermen who comes to Waimea often. He says in the past few days, there's been a lot more action in the water.
"This morning I was standing on Jump Rock fishing, and I look right down, straight down right by my feet, there was a Galapagos cruising around Jump Rock just going around it."
Since last week, Ocean Safety Crews say sharks have been sighted swimming a little too close for comfort.
Murky water is one of the reasons why the sharks come so close to shore. Dark spots in the water, known as bait fish or schools of fish act like a buffet for the predators, bringing them as close to 40-feet from the beach.
"Bigger fish eat the smaller fish and with the dead fish it attracts other big fish," said Adam Lerner, Ocean Safety Lieutenant, "With some stagnant dead fish around it's been attracting a few sharks in the area.
Lifeguards on duty have stepped up beach inspections, making their rounds by land and sea.
"With the ATV's and our guys in tower here we're doing a little more patrols than normal, and keeping our eyes peeled daily. We'll do patrols on the ski and check it out in the morning, and it's been active for the last four days so we'll keep doing it until they leave," Lerner said.
Officials cannot enforce a beach closure, so the shark sighting signs serve as a precautionary message for beach goers.
They suggest staying out of the waters, but those who jump in -- are swimming at their own risk.
Lifeguards say the sharks vary in sizes-- the largest, up to 10-feet. They suspect Galapagos sharks are the ones commonly seen.
Since the sightings, no attacks have been reported.