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Helicopter crew warns paddleboarders they're 'next to approximately 15 Great white sharks'

Time logo Time 12/05/2017 Julia Zorthian

A sheriff's department helicopter crew warned paddleboarders in Southern California Wednesday that they had company: there were more than a dozen sharks near them in the water.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department helicopter captured footage of the smattering of great white sharks as Deputy Brian Stockbridge broadcasted instructions to people in the water, the AP reports. State Parks, he said in the video, had asked him to pass along a message: you should probably head to shore.

"You are paddleboarding next to approximately 15 great white sharks," Stockbridge told the people below. "They are advising you exit the water in a calm manner. The sharks are as close as the surfline."

The sighting occurred while shark advisories were in place in the region. Southern California saw a spike in shark sightings around this time last year, the APreports, and marine officials say the shark appearances are the result of a "thriving aquatic ecosystem."

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