MORRO BAY, CA – A surfer escaped injury on Saturday after a great white shark bit her board off California’s central coast.
Elinor Dempsey of Los Osos, California, said she was surfing at Morro Strand State Beach, just north of Morro Bay, around 10 a.m. when a shark swam under her board and chomped on it, leaving an approximately 14-inch wide bite mark.
Dempsey pushed her board toward the shark as she jumped off.
Other surfers who saw the attack warned everyone else to get out of the water. Some of the surfers helped Dempsey reunite with her board, and she got back on it to get to shore.
Officials closed the beach for 72 hours and posted warning signs at nearby beaches.
Experts will analyze the bite mark and teeth pattern to determine the size of the shark.
Dempsey told the San Luis Obispo Tribune that she was shaken by her close encounter with the shark and might take a break from surfing.
Also in California, a San Diego County beach is open again after being shut when a shark was seen circling kayakers.
The 1 1/2-mile stretch of beach from La Jolla Cove to Scripps Pier reopened at 7 a.m. Sunday.
San Diego Fire-Rescue spokesman Lee Swanson says the beach will remain under a “shark advisory.” That means lifeguards will warn beachgoers about the Saturday sighting of the 8- to 10-foot hammerhead shark.
Swanson said Saturday that the shark appeared to be acting aggressively toward a group of kayakers and followed them into shore.
Lifeguards reviewed a video taken by a kayaker of the shark and ordered the beach closed. A marine biologist at the nearby Scripps Institution of Oceanography confirmed that the size, species and behavior of the shark warranted the closure.