Girl, 15, Has Close Encounter With Shark Off Catalina Coast

AVALON (CBS) — Authorities say a 15-year-old paddleboarder survived an encounter with a Great White Shark which bit her board several times off the coast of Catalina Island.

The girl was with a group of paddle boarders about 200 yards from shore in a isolated cove when she encountered the shark at 6:40 a.m. Sunday, Los Angeles County Lifeguards said.

The teenager was not injured, but her board was bitten several times.

“The way they test anything out is with their mouth. So the fact that the shark came up and took a few nibbles of the board. That indicates that was the motivation,” Dr. Chris Lowe, a CSU Long Beach professor who studies sharks, said.

Most sharks are active at sunrise and sunset, according to Lowe. Based on the picture of the girl’s paddle board, Lowe believes the shark could have been between 12 to 14 feet in length.

The encounter prompted lifeguards to issue warnings to swimmers, divers and boaters around the island.

The shark has not been spotted since, lifeguards said.

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