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Shark Sightings on N. Oregon Coast Cause for Warnings Around Pacific City

Published 11/07/2017 at 5:57 PM PDT - Updated 11/07/2017 at 6:17 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Shark Sightings on N. Oregon Coast Cause for Warnings at Pacific City

(Pacific City, Oregon) – The Tillamook County Sheriff's office is putting up warnings around the Pacific City area of the north Oregon coast because of numerous shark sightings around those beaches. Starting on November 2, there have been sometimes more than one sighting per day, and authorities are not taking chances. (Photo courtesy Tillamook County Sheriff's office).

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“Swimmers, surfers, fishermen, everyone: beware,” the department said on its Facebook page. “There have been several sightings of large sharks in the area of Cape Kiwanda that started last Thursday November 2nd. Several different individuals have reported seeing them in the days since, including yesterday. So, please use caution in and around the coastal waters.”

Signs are now posted as warnings, according to Tillamook County Emergency Management Director Gordon McCraw.

“One person who saw it said it was at least ten feet long,” McCraw said.

These are just warnings. The sheriff's office is stopping just short of urging people to not go in the water.

“You don't know when they're going to be around,” McCraw said.

There is more than one factor involved in these sightings, however. Currently, surf conditions are flat as a pancake in most areas, which makes seeing any shark much easier. Heavy numbers of salmon and other fish wandering through the north Oregon coast near-shore stretches could be drawing the sharks out as well.

Out of all the sharks normally found on the Oregon coast, Great Whites are about the only ones known for biting humans. It is possible this is not a Great White, however. Two other kinds of sharks known to this region have similar fins: the basking shark and the salmon shark. In fact, the salmon shark is related to the Great White and even looks like it, but a smaller version.

If the witness' size estimate of 10 feet is correct, this would indeed be a Great White.

Other sharks common to the Oregon coast: the Thresher shark, Pacific Sleeper, Blue shark, Short Fin Mako and the Soupfin. More on Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City below, as well as sharks found washed up on Oregon beaches:

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Stranded shark photos below courtesy Seaside Aquarium


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