Swimmers Abandon 76-Mile Swim After Multiple Shark Encounters

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A team of swimmers attempting a 76-mile relay swim from Catalina Island to La Jolla Cove in support of wounded veterans abandoned the swim after multiple shark encounters, organizers said Sunday.

The group of eight swimmers, three kayakers and a support boat left the city of Avalon on Catalina Island about 4:10 p.m. Friday and planned to arrive at La Jolla Cove sometime this morning, group organizer Will Miller said.

But the group abandoned the swim for precautionary reasons Saturday after swimming 44 miles because of multiple encounters with sharks, Miller said. One shark followed about 20 feet behind a swimmer at one point and the group spotted a total of eight sharks nearby. They were about 20 miles offshore from Camp Pendleton when they decided to stop.

“After 44 miles, safety takes precedent over ego and wanting to finish,” Miller said. “At night it was pitch black, and our concern was we would never see the shark at night until it was too late.”

Read Times of San Diego

Photo by USFWS Headquarters

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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