Great white shark chomps kayak, spilling angler overboard; ‘Kaboom!’


Connor Lyon (left, in white kayak) receives help from nearby fishermen. Photo: Connor Lyon via KSBY

A Santa Barbara angler said the kayak he was fishing from on Tuesday morning was attacked by a large great white shark, tossing him into the water.

"All of a sudden … kaboom," Connor Lyon, 22, told KSBY. "The shark came up from underneath. It grabbed onto the front end and started thrashing and shaking."

Great white sharks are ambush hunters that attack seals by striking from below, where they blend into the rocky bottom. It's likely that the silhouette of Lyon's kayak was perceived as natural prey by the shark.


Teeth marks on Connor Lyon’s kayak. Photo: Connor Lyon via KSBY

"I was looking right into his big, black eyes, about an arm's distance from the head," Lyon recalled. "I had full view of the lips peeled back and the teeth gripped into the Kayak."

As the shark lifted the kayak, it tilted, and he spilled into the ocean. He yelled for help as he tried to scramble back onto the kayak.

The shark, whose bite marks measured 18 inches across, did not return.

The incident occurred 500 yards offshore between Point Conception and Gaviota State Beach.

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