Shark bites kayak in California

A 1-mile radius of coastline has been closed by the City of Santa Cruz after a kayak was bitten by a great white shark.

Steve Lawson was paddling off West Cliff and Pelton Avenue July 11 around 11:00 a.m. when he felt something bump his kayak.

He looked into the water and saw a great white shark, which bit his kayak and left a 12-inch bite mark.

Lawson was knocked into the water and hung onto his kayak,  but never saw the shark again.

He was able to use his VHF radio to call for help

2017-shark-attack_bite_Santa Cruz Fire Department_
Photo: Santa Cruz Fire Department

Santa Cruz Harbor Patrol officers responded to the mayday call and were able to pull the experienced kayaker from the water.

Per the Santa Cruz County Shark Incident Action Plan all water activities at the beach will be prohibited until sunrise Saturday (July 15th) morning.  Marine Safety staff and lifeguards will monitor the area in the meantime.  All partner agencies in the area have been notified and Santa Cruz Junior Guard activities will be modified for the week.

According to Santa Cruz Fire Chief Jim Frawley, “attacks like these are extremely rare in Santa Cruz County, and we are so thankful that the kayaker was uninjured.  This is a reminder that swimming in the ocean does carry some risk and we encourage all swimmers, surfers, and kayakers to be mindful of their surroundings and follow directions of lifeguards and Marine Safety staff.”

Earlier this year another kayaker was knocked into the water by a great white shark in Monterey Bay.

Brian Correiar had just paddled back from Pacific Grove March 18, when the shark hit his kayak.

A man filmed the shark from shore as it drug the kayak through the water. A Good Samaritan tried to pick Correiar from the water, but was unable to get him in the boat. Eventually the Coast Guard arrived and was able to recover the uninjured kayaker and his boat.

There have been a total of 58* shark attack bites in 2017, 5 of which were fatal*; 27 were reported in the US, with 19 occurring in Florida** and one in Hawaii. Nine occurred in Australia, one of which was fatal and one with no injury.  Three unconfirmed worldwide and not included in the total count.

All locations have been marked on the 2017 Shark Attack Bites Tracking Map

*Two may be scavenge    **One report may have been outside of Florida waters.

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