- (Photo: Reuters/Mike Hutchings)
A kayak shark attack at the Capitola wharf in Monterey Bay ended up with one man's boat being shredded. The unnamed man was unhurt, but many believe the attack- perpetrated at popular surf location Pleasure Point- was the work of an 18-foot-long great white shark.
The kayak shark incident took place at about 8:30 a.m. Saturday, when a 52-year-old Fremont man was out fishing on the water with friends. His 13.5 foot kayak was nudged by something big, which got his attention.
The shark wasn't done there, though. Within seconds, the animal bit the hull of the boat, destroying it, and throwing the man into the water. Although the front of the boat was shredded, the man survived to tell the tale. A shark expert, Sean Van Sommeran of the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation, was called to investigate the incident, and he concluded that the attack was the work of a great white shark.
"These tiny little cuts are the signature of a white shark," he told The LA Times, referring to the animal's serrated, dangerous rows of teeth. "It's the primary suspect anyway in this type of stuff."
Fragments of teeth were found in the yellow hull of the kayak, but Van Sommeran has not yet investigated them. The destructive power of the shark was a dead giveaway, though.
"Those teeth can go right through bones and saw apart seals. They're designed to dismantle sea animals. They rarely bite humans," he told The Santa Cruz Sentinel.
Fortunately for the man, those teeth never had the chance to touch him. Another boat witnessed the incident and scooped him up soon afterwards.
"He was just happy he was back and was safe," said Van Sommeran.
Police have told beachgoers to take extra precautions when swimming, surfing or boating around Pleasure Point. Most sharks aren't seen until about a mile out, but this particular great white attacked at only 100 yards out in 40 feet of water.
Shark sightings have increased recently. The same day, a 15-foot great white shark chased a man, Walter Szulc, who was kayaking at Nauset Beach in Cape Cod, Mass; he was unhurt. Also, a shark was caught at Marina Del Rey about a week ago.