On Saturday, Sep. 29, a 13-year-old boy was bitten by a shark off the coast of Beacon’s Beach, Encinitas, CA. Keane Webre-Hayes was diving for lobsters when the attack happened, as that day was the start of lobster season.
CNN reported that Hayes swam to three kayakers after the attack, who brought him ashore. They and several other good samaritans applied pressure to the bite until he was airlifted to Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego for emergency surgery.
Hayes had damage to his upper left torso and the left side of his face. He was downgraded from critical to serious condition on Oct. 1 and released from the hospital on Oct. 4. A GoFundMe page was made to help his family with medical expenses and has raised over $35,000, according to 10 News.
On Oct. 10 Dr. Chris Lowe, director of Long Beach State’s Shark Lab, said that forensic analysis of DNA found on Keane Hayes’s wetsuit concluded that the shark was a great white(10 News).
Naturally, locals have been on high alert since Sept. 29. However, shark attacks are fairly rare.
According to Shark Attack Data, there were 1,657 unprovoked shark attacks in the US from 1900 to 2016, 144 of which were fatal. Now, from 1990 to 2009, there were 15,011 fatal bicycle accidents(Florida Museum). That means that in the US, there were a little over nine times as many fatal bike accidents in 19 years than unprovoked shark attacks in 116 years. While shark attacks are certainly frightening, they are rare, and fatalities even more so.
It is only natural to be concerned about shark attacks, Southern California especially. Southern California is a known nursery ground for great white sharks, the juvenile sharks moving into our waters in spring and summer, but the danger can be lessened by being aware of local shark activity.
Since his release from the hospital, Keane Webre-Hayes has returned to school. He attended the Wags and Waves event on Oct. 13 to support the California Wildlife Officers Foundation, where NBC reported that he received a lifetime fishing license and lifetime fishing privileges from the foundation.