Environment: Dangers of the Red Triangle

Shark attacks off the Pacific coast show a disturbing rise

Before they plunged into the calm waters of Pigeon Point, just north of Santa Cruz, Calif., Chris Rehm, 33, and Omar Conger, 28, joked about sharks. The two men were experienced divers, and they had swum in that part of the Pacific before. Paddling out about 150 yds., they began diving for abalone, which they gathered in large bobbing buckets.

Suddenly, Rehm saw that Conger, only 20 ft. away, was in trouble. Something was shaking him violently. A moment later, Conger disappeared beneath the surface, then re-emerged in the gaping mouth of a...

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