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Great white shark takes bite out of California man's kayak

Posted at 8:37 AM, Oct 08, 2019

CATALINA, Calif. — Teeth marks from a great white shark are proof of a San Diego kayaker's narrow brush with danger off the coast of Catalina Island.

The incident happened Saturday morning as Danny McDaniel and Jon Chambers were kayaking near Ship Rock, about two miles east of Catalina. The excursion was part of a scuba diving trip coordinated by Power Scuba from the island's Boy Scouts camp.

"Felt push to the left, looked to right, giant great white shark a foot from my boot," McDaniel said. "His upper half of his body was out of the water; his dorsal fin was out of the water."

Chambers was the first to notice the 19-foot shark before McDaniel turned around.

"Look at it and said, 'oh crap, oh crap, oh crap'," Chambers said. "I yelled at him to hit it."

The shark had its jaws clamped on the back of the nine-foot-long kayak, inches from McDaniel.

"Saw a giant, triangular, conical-shaped head right there and a huge body. Just a massive body," McDaniel said.

Both men said they were frozen in fear as the great white shark hung on to the kayak for four or five seconds.

Eventually, the shark let go, leaving behind puncture holes and two large teeth in the kayak.

"I don't think he took a full chomp. I think he just took a nibble and pushed," said McDaniel.

The kayakers kept their paddles out of the water and did not move for several moments lest the shark return. McDaniel was "literally frozen" during that time.

Despite the close encounter, McDaniel and Chambers continued with their plan to scuba dive later on Saturday evening.

"Won't keep me out of the water, won't scare me out of the water," McDaniel said of the encounter.

McDaniel offered to buy the kayak from the Boy Scout camp, which turned down his offer, according to Power Scuba owner Bill Powers.

"I think I've had my fill of great white sharks; I'm good. But I'm fortunate to have this experience," McDaniel said.

"It's one for the books. Not something you want to replicate," said Chambers. "He had the best shark attack experience without it being a bad story."

This story was originally published by Allison Horn and Michael Chen on KGTV in San Diego.