Here's the REAL reason why Delray Beach doesn't draw a decent field.
Sharks keep beach empty again
Sightings off Delray Beach bring warnings
By Leon Fooksman
Posted March 17 2005
DELRAY BEACH · Hundreds of sharks sighted just off the city's beach kept swimmers and surfers out of the ocean for the second consecutive day Wednesday during one of the busiest beachgoing months.
Lifeguards prohibited swimming along the beach to prevent spinner and blacktip sharks, some 5 feet long, from mistaking people for food.
"We don't want to tempt fate," said Paul Milne, ocean rescue supervisor.
The sharks congregate off Palm Beach County every year in March and April to feast on sardines, herring, anchovies and other fish before migrating as far north as New Jersey, said George Burgess, director of the Florida program for shark research at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.
They don't usually bother humans but have attacked swimmers and surfers because they confused splashing and shiny jewelry for fish. These sharks are known to jump out of the water while feeding, sometimes spinning up to three or four times.
No one has been injured this week in Delray Beach, Milne said.
The beach, usually crowded with Spring Breakers, was mostly empty late Wednesday afternoon. If it weren't the sharks chasing people off, winds from the southeast whipping up waves seemed to do the trick, lifeguards said.
A few swimmers and surfers braved the waters despite pleas from lifeguards and signs warning about the danger.
"I saw some sharks, but I tried not to fall down on them," said Larry Marquis, a kite-boarder from Delray Beach who was in the ocean for about two hours. He said he didn't consider the sharks dangerous and wasn't going to miss a good day of surfing.
Lifeguards will determine this morning whether swimmers and surfers can return to the water.
The sharks spend the winter months in the warmer waters off eastern Florida and the rest of the year off the Northeast states, Burgess said. They generally gather near the beach when they come across food.
Staff Researchers Barbara Hijek and William Lucey contributed to this report.