Passengers aboard a Whale Watching Adventure Boat in Dana Point not only saw whale, but also a rare great white shark sighting. Abnormal for the area, great white shark sightings are becoming more frequent. Hetty Chang reports for the NBC4 News at 5p.m. on October 18, 2013.
A rare great white shark sighting made it a trip to remember for 40 passengers on board a whale watching boat off Dana Point on Thursday.
The group, which departed around noon, was a few miles away from shore when crew members spotted a fin protruding from the water's surface, according to deckhand Jason Kunewa.
"The boat suddenly made a stop," said Kunewa. "I ran up to the wheelhouse to get a better look with the captain."
"We were in the binoculars looking as far as we could see," said Captain Corey Hall, who was steering the boat for Dana Wharf Whale Watching. "It was great white shark."
The adult shark was about 12 feet long and swam near the boat for 10 minutes, according to those on board.
The sighting off Dana Point was the latest in a number of shark sightings in recently Southern California.
Another great white shark was spotted in Manhattan Beach. Video taken by surfer Michael Durand shows the shark swimming back and forth just underneath his surfboard.
Several baby white sharks were also seen very close to shore in late August in Manhattan Beach.
"Definitely the sightings have increased, and mainly because we feel that there's more food for them here," said Captain Hall. "They feed on exactly what we've been protecting since the 1970's which are marine mammals."
There has been an increase in the shark population in the past 10 years but marine biologists can't say for certain whether there's been a spike in sightings.
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