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Dan Prather of Concord, California was fishing at Bean Hollow south of San Francisco with a bunch of buddies from the NorCal Kayak Anglers (NCKA) online community on Saturday, July 21 when a suspected great white shark struck his kayak, knocking him into the water.
The bow of his red Hobie Adventure sit-on-top was scratched, scuffed, cracked and holed when the shark struck and chewed it.
John Dale of Foster City said he, Prather, and 16 other kayakers were fishing off the remote beach south of San Francisco when some of the group heard a yell and a splash. Dale was the first to reach Prather.
“Something didn’t seem right. I asked how he’d done (fishing). He said ‘I got a shark,’ while looking at the nose of his kayak,” Dale recounted.
Dale said Prather was drifting about a mile from the beach when a sudden impact threw him from the kayak. Believing he’d been struck by a boat, Prather surfaced, only to find the bow of his boat locked in the jaws of a shark.
“The only thing he saw was the head. He said the head was huge. It wasn’t a gigantic shark, but it had the entire front of the kayak in its mouth,” Dale said Prather told him.
Prather scrambled back aboard, but fell into the water again because his seat had been knocked askew. By the time he’d regained his boat a second time, the shark had vanished.
“The kayak held up well. It was punctured from the bottom where the point of a tooth poked through,” Dale said. Prather’s kayak was filling with water, but slowly.
The two raced to the beach where they were eventually joined by the rest of the group from NCKA.
Kayak angler Chuck Espiritu of San Leandro, who talked with Prather on the beach, said Prather wasn’t doing anything likely to attract a shark. He wasn’t soaking his catch in the cool ocean, nor was there any blood in the water.
Prather was the first kayak angler to be tossed from his seat by a shark. Apparently a man of steely nerve, he was back on the salt within weeks.