Shark warning signs were posted around Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz early Thursday morning telling surfers to stay out of the water, but the signs were not legitimate.
The fake public notice dated 6/6/2013 read "Shark Warning Water Advisory," and said three great white shark attacks happened the day prior at three popular surf sports: Capitola Beach, Privates, and Rockview.
"Due to the highly aggressive nature of these encounters, it is strongly advised to stay out of the water for 48 hours or surf Cowells instead," the advisory read.
Cowells is on Santa Cruz's west side, Pleasure Point is on the east side, and the two sides have a longtime rivalry. They share one thing in common: their waves are almost always crowded.
KSBW called state park rangers, as well as police and fire stations in the area, to find out more about the dangerous shark. Everyone who answered the phone was confused, and quickly became suspicious that the shark attacks were made up.
The signs appear official with a California State Parks bear logo on top, but state park rangers said they would never post signs on city beaches.
The fake shark warning signs were taken down by late Thursday morning. Of course, surfers continued to dive into the ocean even before the signs were removed.
Friday has a lot of surfers amped. After a spring filled with windy, small surf, Surfline.com is forecasting a solid swell to arrive Thursday and stay strong through Friday. During big swells, surf etiquette is often violated and vulgar language flows as surfers drop in on each other.
June's rising water temperatures have also inspired fair-weather surfers to return to the ocean, irking winter warriors who shivered in 50-degree water for months. A sticker reading "Locals Only" with a shark across it can always be spotted on East Cliff Drive's road signs and benches.