Kayaker survives terrifying encounter with great white shark

POSTED: Monday, July 9, 2012 - 1:45pm

UPDATED: Monday, July 9, 2012 - 1:49pm

California Police sent out an alert for even the bravest to stay out of the ocean Saturday after a shark attacked a kayaker who was paddling at Pleasure Point, a surfing mecca in Santa Cruz.

The shark was estimated between 14-18 feet long, Santa Cruz County Sheriff's deputy April Skalland said.

Marine experts said they believe it was a great white shark.

It attacked at 8:30 a.m., and the kayaker managed to escape with rattled nerves and no injuries.

The lucky kayaker -- or unlucky depending on how you look at it -- was a 52-year-old Fremont man.

He was fishing in 40-foot deep water a quarter-mile off shore when the shark attacked.

The shark rammed into the man's 13-foot kayak before sinking its powerful jaws into it.

"A shark lifted up his kayak and attacked the front end of it," Skalland said, causing the man to plunge into the water.

The aggressive shark dragged the bright yellow kayak until the predator realized it was not worth eating.

A nearby boater rescued the man by quickly scooping him out of the ocean while the shark swam off.

He was attacked just beyond wave breaks where hundreds of surfers battle each other daily from sunrise to sunset.

The shark did not bother any of the surfers who were in the water at the time, but was spotted still lurking around later that day by several witnesses.

Hundreds of sharks live in the Monterey Bay, and shark expert Sean Van Sommeran said the highest number of sharks swim in our area from July until November.

Van Sommeran refers to October as "Sharktober," because shark sightings peak during that month.

"The sheriff’s office would like to warn the public about the shark attack and remind the public to be careful in and around the ocean," Skalland said.

"There are sharks in the ocean near Santa Cruz, but they generally stay in deeper waters and do not bother humans," she said.
  

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