Harry Pali of San Francisco should take his kayak to dinner or at least buy it flowers because without it there’s a good chance he’d be dead today.

Pali was fishing in 25 feet of water off Pigeon Point near San Francisco last Tuesday when he was thrown from his 12-foot kayak by the impact from a shark smashing into his boat.

Pali told the Santa Cruz Sentinel, “The impact felt like being hit from a car.” Despite the force of the blow, Pali was able to climb back aboard the kayak and paddle to shore.

Once there, he and a witness who claimed to have seen the shark’s tail protruding from the water shortly after the attack, measured an 18-inch bite in the underside of the craft. The tremendous size of the bite-mark and the manner of the attack lead Pali and others to theorize a great white was responsible for close call.

Great whites, which are found in the waters off San Francisco, are known to ambush prey by striking them from below.