(July 12, 2012) There might not be big waves on the North Shore during the summer, but there are always small kine waves perfect for beginners taking lessons. So when I stepped onto the beach at Chun’s reef earlier today and there were no lessons in the water, I was shocked.
I asked Carol Phillips, director of the North Shore Surf Girls, one of the top surf schools, why she wasn’t out. She pointed behind me and quietly said, “Look at the sign.” I turned around and there it was: an orange warning flag above a sign that read “WARNING SHARKS SIGHTED.”
Carol went on to tell me that about an hour and a half earlier she was out with a group of campers from Camp Erdman when “all of a sudden a mass exodus started.”
Apparently a helicopter that was flying by looped back and dropped down fairly low above the lessons going on, which included not only Camp Erdman but another camp under the care of Sunset Suzy. Someone in the helicopter then opened the door and signaled to one of the instructors that there was a shark in their midst. The schools quickly ushered all of their students out of the water.
As I write this, Carol is headed back out with a new lesson, confident that all is well in the water. Luckily, none of the campers were injured.