Great White Shark Attacks Kayaker in California

Helmut Nickel, Shark Year Magazine,
24. November 2011

Two kayakers (Ted and Harry) were fishing off Pigeon Point on November 22nd, when one of them was attacked by a great white shark.

The shark, estimated to be 15-16 feet long, hit the kayak and left teeth marks on it.

There is a video about this incident in our Video Section ( here ).

Here is a quote made by the involved kayaker ( posted on NorCal Kayak Anglers ) :

Thanks Guys for your support and concerns.  At this very moment things are still shaky for me…I am up and down with my emotions.

Ted & I started out the day fishing the north side of the light house parallel to the big island, drifting north. Conditions were south winds (approx. 10-15 MPH), north swell, water was wind chop and lumpy. We were probably in the water 1-1/2 hours when I got hit. When I was hit by GW I thought I got hit by a boat, but the impact felt like being hit by a car. The impact/bite was directly under my seat (approx. mid ship). The impact was hard enough to send me airborne and flip my Outback…and I am 6’2″ and weigh 235 lbs. I can’t explain the sheer panic and fear I felt at that very moment. I landed in the water and have never scurried so quickly to get back to the kayak that was still upside down. Ted witnessed the shark’s reentry into the water and saw the last half of the shark’s body. So apparently, the shark had enough velocity to go airborne.

Ted came over to assist and calm me down, but I was still in panic mode. And, all I wanted to do was get out of there. Ted came along side and I grabbed the handle on the back side of his kayak and he started to paddle us in. Because my kayak was still upside down it created a drift sock effect and along with the conditions it made it almost impossible to gain any ground. Ted had his hands full trying to get us in.

The decision was made that I would have to go back into the water and right the kayak. It took a long time before I finally went back into the water fearing GW may be lurking. Once we righted the kayak we headed for shore. But because of the punctures, my kayak was slowly being swamped which made it difficult to maneuver. I had to use my paddle as outriggers to keep the kayak from flipping again. The entire time all I could yell out was F–K, F–K, F–k…I just wanted to literally run across the water to get to the beach!

Thanks TED for the assistance and support.

I know who rules the roost, and now I know who the land lord is and it has my deepest respect.


Source: NorCal Kayak Anglers – Forum . Photo / Screenshot: steelhead,



1 Comment

  1. Flo

    Hi Harry,

    So Glad your OK!!!

    Thank you Jesus!!  Say hi to Rose

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