Great white shark in South Africa

A great white shark in South Africa.

It is the stuff of nightmares: to be stranded in the ocean near a prowling great white shark. 

This happened to Brian Correiar around 4:30pm March 18, as he was kayaking back to the Coast Guard Pier by Cannery Row after a paddle to Pacific Grove. 

As he recounted March 19 on a diving website, he "was near the end of a great paddle" in which he saw dolphins and seals. Then, as he was about 100 yards offshore, he writes, "I heard a loud bang as my kayak and I flew into the air. I landed outside my boat, look back to it and to my horror saw a large great white shark no more than three feet away had my kayak in its mouth."

Correiar began scrambling in the water toward shore, trying not to splash or let his legs hang down. He then hit upon another strategy: 

"After five minutes, maybe five years—it was hard to tell, I pulled out my Nautilus Lifeline and called in a mayday to the Coast Guard," he writes. 

"While this was going on, the shark was using my boat as a chew toy. I saw it spin with the boat at least three times. It started pushing the boat towards me and then left the boat and headed for me. Suddenly it dove. I put my face in the water to see if it was under me, but I couldn't see anything."

As reported on the Naval Postgraduate School website, NPS meteorology doctoral student Lt. Cmdr. Kyle Franklin, who was sailing with his wife and young daughter, saw Correiar and tried to come to his aid. 

"Franklin tried to pull Correiar into their sailboat, but the kayaker says his adrenalin was fading, and feet were numb from the bitterly cold water," writes NPS reporter Javier Chagoya. "Minutes later, a 29-foot Coast Guard Response boat, stationed in Monterey Harbor, arrived ready to assist in getting Correiar onto their vessel."

Back on the Coast Guard Pier, Correiar and others examined the damage to his kayak. 

"I have a 14-ft kayak," Correiar writes. "Bite marks show that it had the whole girth of the boat in its mouth. My boat is covered with bite marks from end to end with multiple punctures.

"I had always thought that great whites hit a target to test it and then backed off," he continues. "This was a prolonged attack on the surface."

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(10) comments

clay pet

Is this not video of this incident?

Milo Pence

Not the happy ending I expected.

Jerry Speraw

It would be helpful if someone could estimate the size of the shark. Maybe Richard Dreyfuss could measure the bite radius, and extrapolate from there. Regardless, those of us who routinely kayak along Cannery Row would appreciate knowing what size we're looking for.

Jettz Marz

What a horrific ordeal to go thru, thank goodness he was rescued before total exhaustion set in. But even more so that the shark did not focus on him. Sharks are wild and in their element ( ocean waters ) doing what they need to do to survive. There is NO such thing as predictability when it comes to wild animals as Great Whites are upper tier predators and we as humans in this incident would be considered as prey ( food ) for a beast that must eat constantly to maintain it's energy levels just to stay alive as these sharks never sleep. They have to keep moving constantly passing water thru their gills just to breathe. This alone uses up a supreme amount of energy. Next time you are out in the water, remember who's domain you have entered and be wary ever watchful for arising dangers. In this case one has to be grateful that the kayak was this shark's main focus.

Comment deleted.
Cathy Brown


James Baker

Fictitious story. Never happened!

James Baker

Why wasn't this reported on our local TV stations?

Jack Dias

I've seen this pop up a couple times but no REAL proof. Show me photos of the kayak then I'll believe it.

haven Brearton

He posted a whole album of photos on a dive site:

Nicole Simon

Welcome to the discussion.

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