Great White Leaves Mark on Kayak

A great white shark dumped a fisherman from his one-man kayak into the ocean for a brief time last weekend as he fished with a group of kayak-angling enthusiasts off California’s San Mateo Coast. The angler fortunately was unhurt in the incident, but his craft now bears the signature marks of one of the ocean’s most-feared predators.Dansyak_2

The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that 18 kayakers—all members of the NorCal Kayak Anglers group--launched off Bean Hollow State Beach around 7 a.m. Saturday and split into two groups. The victim--identified on the organization’s Web site only as Dan—reportedly paddled about a mile offshore, where he fished for rockfish with other NCKA members.

“Everyone had been fishing for a while--for a good two, three hours,” NCKA member John Dale told the Chronicle. “From what he told me, basically he was fishing and was adjusting a lure, and all of a sudden he was thrown from his kayak into the water. When he came up, he thought he had been hit by a boat, but when he looked the shark was still on the front of his kayak, latched on, gnawing on the kayak. He thought about it for a second and decided he better get back onto the kayak, even though it was still on the nose.”

According to eyewitness accounts of the incident appearing on the NCKA Web site, Dan kept his wits about him, remained calm and climbed back into his craft. He paddled back to shore—quickly—while accompanied by fellow boaters.

On his way in, the victim reportedly tumbled from his kayak a couple of times, the result of a seat that was loosened during the attack. In addition, puncture holes in the craft’s bottom caused some leaking.

Steven Lam, a club member who witnessed Dan climbing back into his craft after the attack, wrote on the Web site that he was impressed with the angler’s self-rescuing skills and calm demeanor.

“It goes without saying that Dan did an excellent job in self rescuing and for staying focused and composed throughout the ordeal. Obviously, I also called it the day right then and there and followed Dan back in...”

After the experience, Lam concluded that he may hone-up on his own emergency skills before heading back out onto big water.

“Maybe it’s time for me to try the lake and learn some self-rescuing before heading out (to) the big blue again,” he wrote.

Personally, I like to have a little more boat between the water and myself—especially in shark country. What about you Newshounders out there?