Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
From the chilling shot of a shark’s dorsal fin closing in on a solo boater in Cape Cod to a kayaker in Santa Cruz County being attacked by a Great White, America hasn’t seen this much coastal shark activity since “Jaws” dominated the 1975 summer movie box office.
As reported by the Mercury News, a 52-year-old man was approximately a quarter-mile from the shore of Pleasure Point this past Saturday morning when a shark attacked the bright yellow 13.5-foot kayak he was using to fish, sending him into the water as the shark, estimated at 18 feet long and suspected to be a Great White, chomped on the kayak. The man was rescued shaken but unharmed by a nearby boat.
“It started with a violent jolt on the rear starboard side. The back of my kayak rose a few feet then the attack soon happened,” wrote the attack survivor on the norcalkayakanglers.com message board, posting as “FishingAddict.” “I saw the shark's head come out of the water and bite the starboard underside. His head was gray and white underneath his mouth. His mouth was already close when I saw him come out of the surface with my kayak in his mouth. I can still vividly see the seriousness on his eyes. This all happened in about 2 seconds.
“The force of his attack threw me into the water and turned the Revo completely upside down. I immediately started yelling, ‘SHARK, SHARK!’ several times…” his accounted continued. “I see the private boat heading towards me and in a flash decided it’s my best chance of survival. I did a slow breaststroke towards the boat and jumped (aboard).”
Great white sharks are found in the cool, coastal waters of our world. Most of the time, we don’t even know they are there. But what would we do if we did? Intrepid waterman Chuck Patterson of Dana Point decided to document two juvenile great whites circling his paddleboard. Here’s what he filmed.
The video was shot just off San Onofre in northern San Diego County. Patterson actually noticed two young great white sharks in the water the previous day, so he returned to film the animals with a high-definition camera mounted onto a 10-foot pole.
The California coastline serves as a nursery for young great whites, who often cruise the coast alongside their mature counterparts. An adult great white can measure from 15 feet to 20 feet and weigh more than 5,000 pounds. The animals are currently listed an endangered due to human consumption and intervention. And while great whites are perhaps the most ubiquitous predators, they are not known to prey on humans. In fact, most of their “attacks” are just sample biting, where the animal releases its victim once it realizes it is not a sea lion, seal, sea turtle, or one of its other preferred foods.