11/28/2002 Michael Casey (California)

Shark Attack Survivors News Archive for Shark Attacks in 2002.
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Re: 11/28/2002 Michael Casey (California)

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Shark season has surfers keeping an eye out


Published: Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 8:25 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 8:27 a.m.

Being bitten by a great white shark six years ago has not kept Michael Casey out of the water, nor did seeing a shark again while surfing this past New Year’s Day near the Bodega Dunes Campground.

Instead of giving up for the day, Casey went a quarter mile up the beach and went back in the water.

“I saw other guys out,” said Casey, a Santa Rosa assistant city attorney. “I just felt more comfortable, it was uneventful, I caught some good waves and it was a good way to start the new year.”

Casey’s encounter was not unusual. This is the time of the year when great white sharks can be seen cruising the North Coast looking for food.

“The whole area up here is part of the central area for great white sharks in the fall,” said Ben Vanden Heuvel, a Sonoma Coast State Beach ranger stationed at Salmon Creek. “They usually show up in late summer, early fall, they return here and feed. It is not uncommon to have encounters or sightings.”

Supervising park ranger Damien Jones said that others at Salmon Creek reported seeing a shark they believed to be about six feet long.

On Dec. 20, kayaker Tony Johnson of Sacramento was run into by a shark in the ocean at Dillon Beach.

“It didn’t just bump, it hit my paddle very hard from behind,” Johnson said. “It was surprising, the speed of this animal and how fast it was in front of me 15 feet away. It is huge, but it can travel fast.”

Johnson, who had been kayaking for 15 years, was still shaken from the encounter, even recounting it a week after the attack.

“I was never concerned about sharks, ever,” said Johnson, a member of the Bay Area Sea Kayakers. “To me I thought it would be a blessing or a good luck charm if I saw one from the safety of my boat. But nothing prepared me for this, it was so massive and fast.”

Sightings of great white sharks, which can grow to 20 feet in length, often result in beach closures.

“We post warnings saying a shark has been sighted, but people can enter the water at their own risk,” Vanden Heuvel said. “People who use the water out here know and you are entering into another food chain, if you will.”

In September, there were a pair of sightings days apart at Stinson Beach in Marin County, which caused that beach to be closed to swimmers and surfers for five days.

Attacks are rare and seldom fatal.

Guerneville surfer Royce Fraley was bitten in December 2006 at Dillon Beach, but the bites were not serious.

In September 2005, Megan Halavais was bitten in the leg by a great white shark in South Salmon Creek.

It was the same place where Casey, a body-boarder, was bitten in the leg in November 2002, and only a quarter of a mile where he saw the shark’s dorsal fin at about 7:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day.

“I saw that thing, it was 30 yards away from me,” Casey said. “I had gotten outside, just outside where the waves were breaking ... there was this nice glassy area and then I saw this dorsal fin, then I saw it roll, it just flopped over, it exposed its side fin.”

Casey said he recognized what it was immediately.

“My heart was pounding, I stopped dead in my tracks, I just turned in the opposite direction,” Casey said.

Casey said that he and a fellow surfer left the water, but then drove to North Salmon Creek, where several other surfers were in the water and let them know what Casey has seen.

“I just wanted to get some surfing in,” Casey said. “I can’t explain it.”

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20 ... an_eye_out

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11/28/2002 Michael Casey (California)

Post by sharkbait »


16-Foot Shark Attacks Bodyboarding Man

LA Times 11/29/02

A shark attack near here had an assistant Santa Rosa city attorney recovering in a hospital Friday after surgery on his badly bitten legs.

Michael J. Casey, 48, was bodyboarding Thanksgiving Day off Salmon Creek Beach when a 16-foot shark latched on and thrust him into the air.

Yells from nearby surfers may have made the shark let go.

"He still has all his fingers and toes," said his wife, Maureen, "but I think he's a little bummed, because he had a whole surf weekend planned."

Casey suffered deep cuts to his legs, but was listed in good condition at an area hospital.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me ... ov30.story
Last edited by sharkbait on Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by sharkbait »

Shark bites Salmon Creek surfer

Santa Rosa assistant city attorney suffers deep leg lacerations after likely great white tosses him, lets go

November 29, 2002

A 16-foot shark clamped its jaws around a Santa Rosa surfer's legs Thursday at Salmon Creek Beach, thrust him into the air and let go when other terrified surfers began yelling.

The attack on Michael J. Casey, 48, was the first of its kind at the popular Sonoma County surfing beach in six years, park rangers said.

Rangers responded by closing the more than 3-mile stretch of beach to swimmers for the weekend, fearing the shark could remain in the area for several days before moving on.

"Attacks here are extremely rare," said Rich Lawton, supervising ranger of the Sonoma Coast State Beaches. "This one bit him real good. He had some pretty large holes."

Casey, the husband of former Santa Rosa City Councilwoman Maureen Casey (1990-1994), was body-boarding with friends at about 9 a.m. when he was snatched from behind by what rangers believe was a great white shark.

The shark chewed Casey's legs, leaving bone-deep lacerations. He was flown to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, where he underwent two hours of surgery.

He was in stable condition Thursday night, his wife said. A second operation was planned to repair a severed pineal nerve, she said.

"He still has all his fingers and toes," the former councilwoman said. "But I think he's a little bummed because he had a whole surf weekend planned."

Casey, an assistant city attorney in Santa Rosa, is an avid body-boarder. On Thanksgiving Day, he drove with two friends to the beach to surf large seasonal waves.

The attack happened as the three paddled in 10-foot-deep water with about 20 other surfers near the Bodega Dunes boardwalk, Lawton said.

A witness told park rangers the shark approached Casey from behind, gripping him with razor-sharp teeth that pierced his wet suit and legs.

Blood filled the water and others began yelling, the witness said
The shark tossed Casey a few feet in the air and quickly dropped him, rangers said.

The witness described a dorsal fin belonging to a white shark and guessed its length, rangers said.

The shark probably released Casey because it didn't like the taste of his wet suit, Maureen Casey said.

"It came up beneath him, took a bite out of him and spit him out," she said.

Mike Casey declined to be interviewed Thursday night. He has been a city attorney for about two years and before that had a private firm in Santa Rosa.

Meanwhile, authorities scanned the sea for other sharks. Attacks along the Sonoma County Coast are uncommon, but they do happen, Lawton said.

In 1996, Sunnyvale resident Gregg Ferry was bitten by a great white in the last reported attack at Salmon Creek. Also in 1996, Monte Rio surfer Kennon Cahill said he was repeatedly bumped by a shark at North Salmon Creek Beach, but not bitten.

This summer, a surfer at nearby Stinson Beach in Marin County was critically injured in an attack by a great white shark.


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