Pacifica Shark Attack: How Did Kayaker Survive Shocking Great White Encounter Unharmed? [VIDEO]

By Staff Reporter on June 27, 2013 10:49 AM EDT

Great white shark attacks kayaker at Pacifica coast. (Photo: Creative Commons)

A Pacifica shark attack occurred Tuesday evening, just before 5 p.m. California kayaker Micah Flanaburg went fishing off the coast of Pacifica State Park with his father-in-law, Ross Webber, when his kayak was attacked by a great white shark. The Pacifica shark attack, which took place just south of San Francisco, is causing alarm as experts wonder if there will be a spike in shark encounters this summer.

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"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 told KPIX-TV. "And as it grabbed a hold of me, it started shaking the boat front to back. And it wouldn't let go."

Micah Flanaburg estimates the great white shark shook his kayak for 10 terrifying seconds. Father-in-law Ross Webber was only 10 feet away from Flanaburg as he witnessed the shark attack:

"He was riding [the kayak] like a bull, keeping his balance. I was like, 'Go for it! Don't fall in the water!'"

Eventually, the great white shark turned around and swam away, leaving Micah Flanaburg and Ross Webber racing back towards the shore. According to authorities, the shark chomped at the kayak and then circled it before swimming away.

"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," Micah Flanaburg recalled.

Previously, a shark attack on June 17 injured a 15-year-old boy. The attack occurred near Surfside, Texas, just west of Galveston. The victim suffered shark bites to his leg and hand in the attack. The teen was airlifted to the Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center in Houston with non-life-threatening injuries.

The International Shark Attack File indicates only 29 shark attack incidents in 2011. However, 53 incidents were reported in 2012, a significantly higher number than the year before.

Blue Frontier Campaign president David Halvarg suggests the re-population of sea lions in California is likely attracting more sharks into the coastal waters.

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

According to CS Monitor, most California shark attacks occur between July and November as the ocean predators hunt for seal.

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