There were two—count them, two—shark attacks off Santa Barbara on Thursday, one on a kayaker and another on a stand-up paddleboarder. Both paddlers escaped the encounters without injury; however, it is not known to what degree they soiled their boardshorts.
Based on the 15-inch-wide bite mark it left on the water craft, the shark that attacked the kayaker is believed to be between 11 and 13 feet long. Bret Jackson, a 40-year-old man from Los Angeles, was paddling in the waters off of East Beach, 350 feet east of Stearns Wharf, when the shark emerged from beneath him. The fish sunk its teeth into the boat, knocking Jackson into the water.
“It was about a foot away. Its nose was about a foot from my nose, biting on to the side (of the kayak) here and it drove me back, flipped me over,” Jackson told reporters.
“The only thing I saw was its face in my face, clamping down and then shoving me sideways,” Jackson. “Yeah, it was … big, it was right in my face. It was a great white—gray on top, white on bottom, black eyes.”
In the water, Jackson pulled out a 5-inch knife to protect himself before he could climb back into his sinking kayak. “I was just waiting for it to come,” he said. To his relief, the shark did not reappear and a nearby boater came to his rescue in a dinghy.
On Thursday morning, a stand-up paddler was given similar treatment by a shark estimated to be around 8-feet-long. The paddler was in waters off of More Mesa, near Goleta Beach Park, when the shark struck, leaving a bite mark 7-inches in diameter.