Shark Attacks in U.S. Waters

Interviewer: After the shark attack, what did you see? Could you tell right away that he was not in good shape?

Matt: Well, I mean, typically from a shark attack, you know, someone’s not going to be in great shape. So right when it happened, I knew that it wasn’t going to turn out well. I knew right then.

Interviewer: Describe it.

Matt: It was kind of – if you’ve seen horror movies, multiply it by like 10 or 15 or even more than that.


In that intro, you heard a recording of Matt Garcia, who was speaking about the great white shark who attacked his best friend while surfing off the California coast in October 2010. The audio was taken from an interview done by CBS News.

Every time I travel to the beach, it doesn’t matter where I am, a thought always runs through my head: Could it be that there are sharks out in that dark water? Are they swimming nearby? What’s the likelihood of them attacking?

Sharks are mysterious, creepy and yet fascinating creatures. In today’s lesson, we’ll learn all about these predators on the U.S. coasts and how you can lower your chances of getting attacked.


Let’s start with a story.

On October 22nd, 2010, Luke Ransom, a third year chemical engineering student at UC Santa Barbara, woke up at the crack of dawn to go surfing.

Days had passed since he and his good friend and college roommate Matt Garcia had been tracking wave sets moving down the coast from Alaska. The waves were said to be about eight to 10 feet tall, and he wasn’t about to miss out.

Lucas had been surfing since he was eight years old. Being in the water was second nature to him. Before college, he was involved in competitive swimming and worked as a lifeguard at his community pool. At one point, he was honored by his city for saving the life of a young boy.


For the full transcript and Mp3, quiz and transcript reader (to practice pronunciation) be sure to purchase Season 3.

Season 3 - American English Podcast