A kayaker was understandably rattled when he came face-to-face with a great white shark in a heart-pumping encounter that forced the closure of city beaches Thursday afternoon in Santa Barbara, California. A paddleboarder was attacked by an 8-foot great white shark who knocked the paddler into the water as it bit the nose off the board.
"It was about a foot away".
Los Angeles man Bret Jackson was uninjured after a shark attacked his kayak while he was paddling near Stearns Wharf on Thursday, July 20, 2017. I came out from the water as quick as I could. "I was laying on the back [of the kayak] like this trying to hold my legs and arms in".
Signs have been posted warning beachgoers about the shark attack, and the postings at East Beach, West Beach, Leadbetter Beach and Shoreline Park will stay up until Saturday morning, he said. The kayaker had swam about 30 yards to an anchored boat and climbed out of the water, according to the Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol.
"I started swimming toward a sail boat and the kayak felt like it was sinking", Jackson said. Lowe said the shark may have thought the kayak was prey.
"That behavior is the most common behavior in these interactions", Lowe told the Times.
He pulled out a 5-inch knife but realized it was probably worthless. "I got out somehow and was on the bottom side of my kayak, which was out of the water", Jackson said. "That's how they decide whether it's something worth eating".
Another shark attack was reported earlier Thursday offshore of More Mesa, between Santa Barbara and Goleta Beach Park. This is the third shark sighting in two days off Santa Barbara area beaches.
Jackson was told the great white shark was 11- to 13-feet long based on the measurements of the bite marks.