Pacifica Shark Attack Pits Kayaker Against Great White

Thursday, 27 Jun 2013 07:24 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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A California kayaker survived a great white shark attack off Pacifica State Beach near Linda Mar, south of San Francisco, Tuesday as experts wonder if the U.S. will see another spike in shark-human encounters over the summer.

KPIX-TV reported that the attack happened in an area popular with surfers and swimmers just before 5 p.m. The Pacifica Police Department told the television station that Micah Flanaburg was fishing with his father-in-law, Ross Webber, on his kayak off the beach when the shark attacked him.

"As I’m looking back, trying to figure out what the hell is going on, he came up straight underneath me…and the whole kayak was probably lifted out of the water," Flanaburg said to KPIX. "And as it grabbed a hold of me, it started shaking the boat front to back. And it wouldn’t let go."

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Authorities told KPIX that the shark bit into the kayak and then circled it before swimming away. Flanaburg and Webber left the water after the attack, which they say happened about 200 yards off shore.

"Probably the scariest part was when it let go, ’cause it swam back around and I thought he was going to come and take another bite, right where my legs were,” Flanaburg told KPIX.

This attacked follows a June 17 shark attack at near Surfside, Texas, west of Galveston. A 15-year-old boy, out with a local church group, was attacked just before 3 p.m. according to Houston's KTRK-TV.

The boy was bitten on his leg and hand in the attack, the Surfside Police told the television station. He was flown to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center in Houston with non-life-threatening injuries, KTRK-TV reported.

According to the International Shark Attack File, shark attacks jumps dramatically from 29 in 2011 to 53 in 2012. Experts told Huff Post Live, though, the number of attacks likely comes from more people in the water than sharks taking a more aggressive stand against humans.

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"In California, the sea lions have come back and we've got this eco system that is returning to health," David Helvarg, president of the Blue Frontier Campaign, told Huff Post Live. "The white shark is its top predator. It's a sign of health in the eco system but problematic for the recreational water user."

Related stories:

Man Rides Shark, Setting Off Animal Activists

Giant Shark: 1300 Pound Make Caught Off California a Record

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