You are here: home   Heard Around the West   Surfing on a shark
  • This article by Betsy Marston originally appeared in the Oct 27, 2011 issue of High Country News.
  • To read the full article, you must login or subscribe.
Please enter your email address to begin:

Continue 
Follow Us
Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
Topic: Culture & Communities     Department: Heard Around the West     Comments: 0

NON-SUBSCRIBER PREVIEW

Surfing on a shark

News: Oct 27, 2011
by Betsy Marston

OREGON   

In the derring-do department, Doug Niblack certainly stands out: The surfer found himself standing on the back of a great white shark and lived to tell the tale. Niblack, who was surfing off the Oregon coast near Seaside, north of Portland, was paddling some 50 yards from shore when his board hit something that felt like a rock. Next thing he knew, he was knee-deep in churning water on the back of a 10-to-12-foot-long shark. In case you're wondering what that feels like, he says that it felt rubbery, like a Neoprene wetsuit. "There was a moment there when everything was going on, I just kind of made my peace. I honestly thought I was going to die." Perhaps equally unhappy about having a rider, the shark slid out from underneath Niblack, leaving him to paddle back to shore in shock: "I was praying the whole time. Like, 'Don't let it be following me.' " Ralph Collier of the Shark Research Committee in Canoga Park, Calif., says Niblack is actually the second person he's heard of who ended up on top of a shark; a kayaker off Catalina Island, Calif., in 2008 also experienced that phenomenon and survived, reports The Associated Press.

 

THE WEST

The Arizona Strip north of the Grand Canyon suffers from an unemployment rate as high as 17 percent. It also suffers from, or (depending on your point of view) is blessed by, the high possibility that it contains huge amounts of uranium. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will decide soon whether to allow these canyon lands along the Arizona-Utah border to be explored and mined for uranium; meanwhile, local officials have put together a coalition to try to discourage Salazar from one possible decision that would protect the area from mining for 20 years. At a recent eight-hour coalition get-together in St. George, Utah, most speakers talked about the decline of their small rural communities because they lacked an industrial base. But Brian Bremnar, public-lands administrator for Garfield County, Utah, also worried about the effect unemployment has on the development of the manlier qualities, reports Today's News Herald: "When the man is pulled out of the home and a boy is raised with a mother and three sisters, do you think he will be able to throw a football better or do hair better? Is he going to be able to cook better than he can change a tire?"

There is 1 more page in this article...

Introductory Offer - Save 20%

Print with digital OR digital only

From our friends

From a HUGE admirer

I just want to tell you that I'm a huge admirer of High Country News. The reporting, the stories you write — it's so important to those of us in California who see ourselves as part of the West and share all its issues. And they're always all so well-written. When people I know move to the West, I give them a gift subscription.

— Dr. Stephanie Pincetl, UCLA

HCN in the outhouses of the West

From my Alaska trip: I flew into a small town that is not reachable by road, then hopped on a motorboat and drove across lakes and rivers for 2.5 hours to reach the scientists' camp way out in the boondocks -- out there they have a few rough cabins and a generator that makes electricity only in the evening and two outhouses -- and lo and behold, for reading material in the outhouses they have issues of the Economist magazines and HCN -- amazing to discover HCN readers way out there!

Ray Ring, HCN Senior Editor

Dinosaur fans

THANKS for splendid, challenging, exciting work, from two dinosaurs among your countless fans.

-- Brad and Zita Hosmer

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. Idaho’s sewer system is the Snake River | As Big Ag flourishes, this massive waterway suffer...
  2. The Latest: Wild Mexican wolf pups born in Sierra Madre | The species still struggles on both sides of the b...
  3. Closure of federal sheep facility would be a victory for grizzlies |
  4. Summer swimming in a Washington lake | A writer takes the plunge in frigid water.
  5. Colorado water users gird for first statewide plan |
  1. The death of backpacking? | Younger people don’t seem interested in this out...
  2. Idaho’s sewer system is the Snake River | As Big Ag flourishes, this massive waterway suffer...
  3. A graceful gazelle becomes a pest | Inrroducing an African gazelle called the oryx for...
  4. Illegal immigrants take jobs from Americans | A native-born New Mexico Hispanic points out that ...
  5. Plains sense | Ten years after Frank and Deborah Popper first pro...
HCN Classifieds
Subscriber Alert
More from Culture & Communities
Metamorphosis in Winnemucca Review of ‘The Days of Anna Madrigal’ by Armistead Maupin
An award, and a whole lot of visitors Cally Carswell wins a Society of Environmental Journalists award; visitors come to call.
George Harrison’s tree is killed by beetles, and more Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.
All Culture & Communities
 
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone