Large Shark Bites Kayak Off Santa Cruz Coast

SANTA CRUZ (CBSLA.com/AP) — A large shark attacked a kayak Tuesday on California’s Central Coast, leaving frightening bite marks on the boat, though the kayaker escaped without injury.

Police in Santa Cruz investigated and confirmed the attack, then shut down all beach waters within a 1-mile radius for at least four days.

The experienced kayaker, Steve Lawson, was paddling past a kelp bed at the city’s popular surf spot Steamer Lane when he felt a jolt to his kayak. He looked down and saw what he believes was a great white.

The shark bit the front of the boat and sent Lawson into the water. He used a radio to call for a rescue from the Harbor Patrol, but he had to tread water in terror for a few minutes.

“I spent a little time in the water swimming around. I panicked, everyone panics,” Lawson said. “There’s a shark in the water, but he didn’t come back. He wasn’t interested in me.”

The Harbor Patrol showed up within about 90 seconds.

The bottom of the kayak showed shallow cracks and damage from the shark’s bite.

Santa Cruz Fire Chief Jim Frawley said that shark attacks are extremely rare in Santa Cruz County.

The beaches will remain closed through Saturday as a precaution.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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