Ian Watkins was enjoying his trip 200 meters off the coast yesterday, when a whale watching boat passed his kayak. He noticed a wave behind him and thought it might have been from the passing boat, but instead the wave source was from a large shark.
“This wave was coming behind me and I thought what the heck’s that? And then I looked on and there’s this massive fin, and I thought, that’s a serious shark,” he told ABC.
The shark was seriously interested in Watkins’ kayak.
“It pushed me from the left hand side and then it nudged me from the middle across the left hand side.
“I was trying to stay upright, and then it circled me for a while and I got on the radio and said emergency, emergency, emergency,” he said.
The shark, estimated to be around 16 feet long (5 meters), swam around the kayak multiple times.
“He kept circling me; it went from the right under the kayak, then from the left under the kayak . . . when it was coming under it was just really white, it was massive and I thought holy . . . bloody hell.
“I don’t know whether it would have actually attacked me or whether it was just checking me out but it was definitely interested, and didn’t let me go.”
The passing boat heard Watkins’ calls and quickly went back to assist. No injuries were reported and the kayak appeared to be in good order.
While it is not common, great whites have been known to bite smaller vessels such as kayaks or surf skis.
In April 2016, Dave Mason was paddling with his surfski club in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa, when he had a great white shark encounter. The shark hit his ski from behind, knocking Mason into the water. Once he was able to get back onto his ski, he began sinking. The shark had actually bitten off the rear of the ski. Thankfully, he was able to return to the beach with the help of club members.