More people in the water equals more encounters with wildlife. Below Tony Johnson talks about a recent NorCal shark attack experience. Dillon Beach is about an hour north of SF. Never surfed it, but friends have reported the place feeling “sharky”. Good thing Tony and friends decided to go for a kayak session before a surf. Be careful out there!
The following report of a Great White Shark attack was provided by the Shark Research Committee: Dillon Beach — On December 20, 2008, Tony Johnson reported the following:
“Lucy, Anders, Cristina, Bill, Gordon, Jonathan and I were returning from a beautiful day of paddling. We were all gathered just south of Tamales Head in front of Dillon Beach. The group was deciding on surfing options when I asked Lucy if she wouldn’t mind if I went in. While going in I remember trying to make a conscious effort to use proper torso rotation and form while using my Greenland paddle. When half-way through my right stroke, a Great White Shark, with a girth larger than the width of my 22-inch kayak, hit my paddle from behind with such force that it slammed me forward to the front of my deck. Feeling the turbulence on my boat I sat up in shock at the speed, power, and size of this creature. I wish there were some way I could relate, or explain, how fast this creature was in water. I was facing the beach with my paddle out of the water, holding it in preparation for a second hit and saying to myself, ‘stay frosty.’ I was afraid to move and started yelling to my group that was behind me, ‘Great White’ – ‘Great White.’ I did this for several seconds before I decided to turn the boat around and head for the group. I stayed very still and slowly extended my paddle to turn towards the group. While turning the boat I looked to my right and there, 15–20 feet away, was the Great White, its dorsal fin out of the water. Its dorsal fin was large and shredded at the tip. The Great White was moving slowly, turning with my boat, this really caused me to panic and I paddled as fast as I could to the group yelling ‘Great White’ many times until someone heard me. We all gathered together and paddled in to Dillon Beach. While on the beach I examined the paddle and there were no bite marks, which I can’t explain.”