A kayaker and his father-in-law were attacked by a great white shark on Tuesday while fishing off the coast of Pacifica State Beach near San Francisco. Neither man reported any injuries.
According to KPIX 5, the incident occurred just before 5 p.m. The shark reportedly swam up to the kayak and took a bite out of it before circling the boat and swimming away.
Kayaker Micah Flanaburg said that he and his father-in-law were taken completely by surprise.
“As I’m looking back, trying to figure out what the hell is going on, he came up straight underneath me … and the whole kayak was probably lifted out of the water,” Flanaburg told KPIX 5. “And as it grabbed a hold of [the boat], it started shaking the boat front to back. And it wouldn’t let go.”
As SFGate noted, sharks rarely attack humans, preferring instead to eat sea lions and seals. This knowledge, of course, didn’t factor into Flanaburg’s thinking when confronted with an actual great white.
“Probably the scariest part was when it let go, ’cause it swam back around and I thought he was going to come and take another bite, right where my legs were,” Flanaburg said.
Flanaburg told KPIX 5 that the attack lasted for roughly 10 seconds, but felt longer. He also estimated the great white shark to be about 12 feet in length.
“Right from below me, the whole kayak lifted up from below me, and the great white shark grabbed the whole front of the kayak and was shaking it violently. He hit me so hard from underneath,” he said.
Pacifica Police Capt. Joe Spanheimer told SFGate that the attack occurred outside the area at Pacifica State Beach normally visited by swimmers and surfers, but Pacifica Public Works would post warning signs in the area as a precaution.