PLEASURE POINT, Calif. – A great white shark, estimated to be up to 18 feet long, sheared through the front end of a kayak floating about a quarter-mile from the popular surf spot known as Pleasure Point in Monterey Bay near Santa Cruz, Calif., authorities said.
The attack, which happened about 8:30 a.m. Saturday, is a rare occurrence for the area, as no one has reported a shark bite in several decades in the waters around Santa Cruz County, according to Sean Van Sommeran of the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation.
On Saturday, a 52-year-old Fremont, Calif., man was fishing from his 13-foot kayak when he felt the shark bump up against the back of the boat. Within seconds, the shark lifted up the kayak and attacked the front, sheriff’s deputies said.
The man, thrown from the kayak, was unharmed. He was plucked from the ocean by a boater nearby who had witnessed the incident.
The man was fishing with two friends in about 40 feet of water just outside a kelp bed when the attack occurred. The man’s friends, in separate kayaks, were not injured.
The shark’s teeth sliced through the thick shell of the yellow kayak, and investigators extracted tooth fragments from the bite marks.
Van Sommeran was called to inspect the bite, and he immediately confirmed it was the work of a great white – the world’s largest predatory shark.