A local fisherman’s close encounter with a hammerhead shark near the Channel Islands was captured on video.
Four men were spear fishing near Anacapa Island in early November when they spotted an 8-foot-long hammerhead shark swimming around their boat.
Forrest Galante and a friend decided to chum the water, then jumped in and swam with it.
Galante says the shark swam straight towards them and tried to bite.
After a few minutes, they got back on to the boat.
Galante says the experience was thrilling but scary.
Chris Lowe, of Cal State Long Beach’s Shark Lab, said hammerhead sightings are very rare, especially near the Channel Islands.
He said a developing El Nino is bringing hammerheads, whale sharks and other animals up from Southern Baja, California to warmer waters.
Lowe said hammerhead shark populations are in trouble.
The scalloped hammerhead is on the endangered species list.Slideshow: Encounter with a Hammerhead Shark