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Paddleboarder and dog thrown off board after shark encounter

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Scientists say our fear of sharks is misplaced
Shark attacks are rising, but scientists say fears are largely misplaced 03:32

A paddleboarder and his dog were thrown off their paddleboard when a shark attacked the board in the waters off California, the Pacific Grove Police Department said Wednesday. Both were able to return to shore uninjured.

"On August 10, 2022, at approximately 11:30 a.m., a paddleboarder off of Lovers Point Beach had a shark encounter approximately 150 yards from the Lovers Point Pier," police said in a statement. "During the encounter, the shark swam underneath, turned, and bit the paddleboard device."

Police said the paddleboarder, a resident of Pacific Grove, and his dog were thrown off the board, but managed to climb back on and paddle back to safety. The board is being tested to determine what type of shark it was, police said.

The beach will remain closed until Saturday.

Pacific Grove is located about 100 miles south of San Francisco.

There has been a noted increase in reported shark sightings and attacks this summer, but the danger from sharks remains low.

Last year, only one person in the U.S. died from an unprovoked shark attack: A man who was boogie boarding in California's Morro Bay on Christmas Eve. Researchers with the International Shark Attack File recorded 73 unprovoked incidents last year, an uptick from the decade-low 52 bites in 2020, but closer to the five-year global average of 72 annually.

According to the Shark Attack File, the chances of being killed by a shark attack are 1 in more than 3.7 million. You're more likely to be killed by bees or a cow than you are a shark, data compiled by conservation group Defenders of Wildlife shows.

Experts say the uptick in shark sightings and attacks this year is a sign that conservation efforts are working after shark populations crashed by the 1970s, thanks to overfishing and pollution. 

Allison Elyse Gauthier contributed reporting.

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