Great white ends San Francisco marathon swimmer’s attempt at making history

Marathon swimmer golden gate farallon islands san francisco great white shark

Marathon swimmer Simon Dominguez had to give up his attempt at history when a great white started circling him 18 hours into his swim. Photo: Flickr user Elias Levy

A marathon swimmer had to abandon his quest to become the first person to complete the roughly 30-mile open ocean swim from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands yesterday, despite being just 3.5 miles from completion, after a great white shark started circling him.

Simon Dominguez, a 49-year-old Australian native living in San Francisco, was 18 hours into his attempt at making history when he had to be reluctantly pulled from the water after his teen daughter, following him in a support boat, spotted a great white circling him.

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“Apparently it was swimming around me and then it started moving straight toward me and that’s when I thought it was probably a good idea to get out of the water,” Dominguez told KPIX-TV. “It was hard in that I really wanted to finish the swim, but a shark’s a shark.”

Dominguez was visibly upset standing on the deck of the support boat, with blood coming down his neck from wetsuit chafing and his throat raw from swallowing so much salt water during the swim.

And while his training partner, Bay Area resident Kim Chambers, plans on attempting the same swim next week despite the sharks, Dominguez said he’s unsure whether or not he’ll attempt the swim again.

With the Farallon Islands being a haven for great whites, and the frigid Pacific Ocean waters being quite unforgiving, Dominguez said he would have to check with his wife and daughter before attempting the swim a second time.

But for now, those decisions can wait.

When asked by the Marin Independent Journal what his immediate plans were for the night following his failed attempt, Dominguez replied simply, “To get drunk.”

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