Kayaker fends off shark attack with paddle

Mark McCracken was out on his kayak fishing about half a mile offshore near Santa Barbara, California on Saturday when he was suddenly attacked by a “super aggressive” hammerhead shark.

“It hit the back of my kayak twice and I turned around to see it,” McCracken, a 33-year-old construction worker, told NBC News. “I couldn’t tell if he was biting (the kayak) or if he was head-butting it but soon as I saw it I just started going at him with the paddle.”

McCracken captured the encounter with a helmet camera, the footage shows the shark circling the kayak and charging him several times, each time being beaten back by the paddle.

Check out a portion of the video, from the YouTube page California Life:

After several minutes McCracken began rowing into shore, but the shark was relentless.

“Followed me all the way into about three feet of water,” said McCracken, “Even after I got out of my kayak and made it to the beach he was sitting right there… it was pretty creepy.”

Chris Shorr

About Chris Shorr

Chris is a sixth generation Portlander who loves all things Maine. He has worked with mentally ill and marginalized adults at a Portland non-profit, on a lobster boat in Casco Bay, at several high-end Portland restaurants, and at a local meat packing plant. He also ran for Portland City Council in 2013, wrote a weekly column in the now defunct Portland Daily Sun, and currently writes a weekly column in The Portland Phoenix.