A surfer says he had a close encounter with a shark off the Oregon coast.
Nathan Holstedt reports he was waiting for a wave off Cape Kiwanda March 15, when something grabbed his board. Around 8:30 a.m. he said he realized that something was a shark.
“It missed my leg by six inches, man,” he told KATU.
The 33-year-old said he was knocked into the water and used his board to tommyhawk the shark.
After hopping back on his board, he paddled back to shore and went home to decompress.
“I’m standing here right now untouched. I’m [expletive deleted] super thankful, man,” he said.
While he was uninjured, his board had 4 widely-spaced damage marks.
After settling down, Holstedt notified a fellow surfer who is also a Tillamook sheriff.
Oregon State Park Rangers placed shark warning signs at the beach and posted a ranger to warn beach goers of the encounter.
Photos of the board are inconclusive in determining if or what type of shark of shark might be involved.
Shark interactions in Oregon are quite rare. The last serious injury occurred in October 2016.
Joseph Tanner was surfing near Indian Beach Trail at Ecola State Park when he was bitten on the upper and lower thigh by a white shark.
The 29-year-old trauma nurse was able to direct rescuers on how to best treat his wounds. He was airlifted to a Portland hospital with serious injuries.
There have been a total of 11 shark attack bites (9 with injury, 4 of which are considered provoked*) publicly reported and verified in 2019. One fatal**; Three were reported in the U.S (including zero fatal), with 1 occurring in Florida and 1 in Hawaii. Three have been reported in Australia, zero fatal. Four unconfirmed bites, worldwide, not included in the total count.
All locations have been marked on the 2019 Shark Attack Map.
*Provoked defined as spearfishing, feeding sharks, fishing, etc. (listed with green marker).
**Zero possible scavenge