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July 01, 2013

Great White Shark Attacks Kayak Fisherman Off the California Coast

Just in time for the July 4th holiday, a shark attack is in the news.

Just in time for the July 4th holiday, a shark attack is in the news. A great white shark attacked a kayaker fishing with his father-in-law off Pacifica State Beach near Linda Mar, California, according to a report by CBS News. Late Tuesday afternoon, the Pacifica Police Department received a report from a man fishing from his kayak off the beach that he was attacked by a shark. The attack reportedly occurred outside the area frequented by surfers and swimmers.

“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,” kayaker Micah Flanaburg said in the report. “And as it grabbed a hold of me, it started shaking the boat front to back. And it wouldn’t let go.”

The shark bit into the kayak, before the shark circled the craft and swam away, according to authorities. “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 said the attack was around 10 seconds, but it felt much longer. “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. Ross Webber, Flanaburg’s father-in-law described where the attack took place. “About 100 to 200 yards off that point…not too far from shore,” he said.

Following the attack, the kayakers returned to shore. Both Flanaburg and Webber were not physically harmed in the incident. Flanaburg estimated the great white shark to be about 12 feet, or three-quarters the length of his kayak. “I was pretty much helpless, just hanging on for dear life,” he said in the CBS News report.

Authorities monitored the beach Tuesday night, while officials with the Pacifica Public Works plan to post signs warning the public about the incident, according to the report. State Parks officials said a 12-foot-long great white shark was spotted by two fishermen at a Santa Barbara beach on Saturday afternoon. The shark displayed violent behavior at Tajiguas State Beach, one mile west of Refugio State Beach. State Parks officials said the shark reportedly came between two fishermen on kayaks, and at one point lifted one of the kayaks out of the water, but didn't capsize it. The fishermen were not hurt. Because of the shark's behavior, there is now a 72-hour closure for water recreation in the immediate area of up to six miles. The beach areas will remain open.