Florence, OR — On October 28, 2010 Seth Mead and Gus Gates were surfing 75 yards from shore and about 100 yards from the North Jetty of the Siuslaw River at Florence, Oregon. It was 3:20 PM and they had been on the water 5 – 10 minutes. The sky was overcast with a light South-East breeze and an estimated air temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea was calm with a 4 – 6 foot swell over a sandy ocean bottom 15 feet deep with poor visibility and an estimated temperature of 54 degrees Fahrenheit. An undetermined number of Harbor Seals were observed near shore. Gates reported the following; “I was paddling out on my surfboard to where my friend Seth was surfing, approximately 100 yards North of the North Jetty in Florence. I was watching him as he was paddling back out after catching a wave (his first and only after about 10 minutes in the water) from a distance of approximately 50 yards, all of the sudden I saw a bunch of commotion and a large grey dorsal fin and the sharks tail out of the water next to Seth. A wave in between us blocked my view for an immediate second as I contemplated what I had just seen. When Seth reappeared he yelled, ‘paddle to the beach now!' and we both paddled as hard as we could and caught a wave on our bellies. Seth was totally unharmed physically, minus the loss of a favorite surfboard. No rescue was needed, Seth was relieved that he was not hurt and wonders why sharks seem to like him so much. I told the Coast Guard officer who was on the beach about the encounter and asked that she notify others in the event that they might paddle out.” Seth Mead was attacked by a White Shark on 20 September 2004 while surfing at Gold Beach, Oregon requiring more than 25 stitches to close his wounds. Additional information about the current attack will be posted as it becomes available.
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