Great white sharks tracked down on ‘infamous’ California surf beach

Two great white sharks were tracked near a popular surfing destination in California known for its shark attacks.

Michael Domeier of the Institute of Marine Conservation Sciences said via Instagram on Friday that an adult female great white shark named Poe Girl was positioned off the “infamous” surf beach at Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc.

A female subadult white shark, named Betty White, was tracked in the same area.

Fatal shark attacks took place in Vandenberg, north of Santa Barbara, almost exactly two years apart in October 2010 and 2012. A non-fatal bite, also attributed to a white shark, occurred in 2014. (Surf Beach is open to the public.)

Poe Girl is at least 18 feet tall, according to Keith Poe, who tagged and named the shark in 2017. Betty White was a 12-foot female when she was tagged off Southern California in 2020.

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Dozens of sharks tagged with MCSI can be tracked via the White Shark Expedition application.

The Friday and Saturday app showed Betty White on earth near Lompoc.

Domeier, president and chief executive officer of MCSI, explained that the particular positioning “simply demonstrates the imprecision of localization estimates based on the Doppler effect.”

Still, the sight of a yellow dorsal fin marker well inland inspired attempts at humor under Domeier’s post.

“Are you sure Betty wasn’t going to Starbucks in Albertsons?” One person commented.

To which Domeier replied, “Or maybe looking for a CA dispensary before going back to [Hawaii]. “

– Generic image of white shark courtesy of © Pete Thomas

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