The first shark attack victim in recorded Santa Cruz history was Father Hudson, a Catholic priest from Gilroy who in 1881 survived an attack while bathing in the ocean.
Rather than take it as a sign of divine grace, local bathhouses made signs. When word of the attack spread, at least one snarky, opportunistic operator advertised to customers: “No sharks here.”
Despite last weekend's kayak attack, Father Hudson's brush with the fearsome power of nature was not a harbinger of things to come. Even with the international popularity of local beaches, Sunday's Pleasure Point close-call was just the fifth-ever shark encounter east of the lighthouse in recorded county history.