LOS ANGELES, California -- The California-based Shark Research Committee is reporting that surfer off the Oregon coast was recently attacked by a great white shark. On September 27, David Lowden described a terrifying encounter where a shark hit his board at "full attack speed", dumping him to the water with the beast. Lowden was able to get back on his surfboard and safely return to shore without injury. Here's the text of Lowden's report, as given to the Shark Research Committee:
No unusual behavior of marine mammals, fish, or birds, was observed in the area prior to the attack. Lowden reported: "Surf conditions were good with a large swell, light winds, and good interval. Water temperature was much higher than normal, around 56 – 58 Fahrenheit. High tide was at 2:15 PM that day and the peak we were surfing was further out than normal due to the size of the swell. After surfing for about 45 minutes, and catching only two waves, the current pushed me towards the outside and wide of the peak that was breaking about 30 feet south of the jetty. I paddled hard to fight the current and regain position in the peak. During this effort I was struck from underneath by the unmistakable force of a shark, due to past experience being bumped by a Great White in September of 2006 at the same location. I knew right away from the hardness of the object that it was a shark. The shark was at full attack speed nailing the tail of my board ejecting me forward as the shark breached the surface of the water with most of its body. I got a pretty good look at the overall presence but it happened so fast I wasn't able to pick out details. The shark turned on its side as it headed back down, thrashing its tail a couple times before disappearing somewhere underneath or behind me. Frantic, I pulled my board back toward me by the leash. I then began to paddle as fast as I could toward the jetty which seemed much closer than the beach. Luckily, during the encounter I had been pushed inside and toward the peak enough to grab the first wave in that came moments later. After regrouping on the beach, the other two surfers were able to fill in the blanks as to what really happened as both saw the entire incident take place. We came to the conclusion it was a Great White between 11 and 14 feet in length. I believe that it either miscalculated the attack or aborted at the last second clipping the tail of my board, striking the fins first which I think must have given it a bit of a shock and caused it to thrash about after the initial contact. My board sustained minimal damage considering, losing a fin and crushing a fin box and creasing the tail. No injuries occurred."
This is the fifth authenticated unprovoked shark attack from the Pacific Coast of North America for this year and the first for Oregon. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the www.sharkresearchcommittee.com.
About the Shark Research Committee
Founded in 1962 scientific research organization, the Shark Research Committee's primary goal was to assist Leonard P. Schultz of the International Shark Attack File (ISAF) in documenting shark attacks from the Pacific Coast of North America. This initial objective was soon broadened to include conducting original research on the general biology, behavior and ecology of sharks indigenous to waters off the Pacific Coast, with particular emphasis on potentially dangerous species. For more information regarding the Shark Research Committee's conservation, education, and research programs are available at: www.sharkresearchcommittee.com.
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