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Woman Reports Shark Attack on Outrigger Canoe in Santa Barbara Channel

Teeth marks from 6-foot blue or gray shark mar vessel’s floating arm, but lone occupant is uninjured

A woman paddling an outrigger canoe off the Santa Barbara coast Sunday afternoon reported seeing a 6-foot shark biting her vessel.

She was three miles offshore when she reported seeing a 6-foot blue or gray shark begin biting the ama, or flotation arm, of her outrigger canoe, according to Larry Neufer of the Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol.

The incident occurred at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday offshore of the lighthouse located near La Mesa Park in Santa Barbara.

The woman, whose identity was not disclosed, sustained no injuries and paddled back to shore, reporting the incident about an hour after seeing the shark, Neufer said.

She notified Harbor Patrol authorities, who confirmed the bite marks to the boat’s equipment.

“It was damaged and appeared to have been bitten by a shark,” Neufer said.

Blue sharks are common throughout the Santa Barbara Channel and in the area where the woman was canoeing, he said.

Tooth marks scar the outrigger canoe’s ama. (Dan Seibert photo)
Tooth marks scar the outrigger canoe’s ama. (Dan Seibert photo)

Since the incident occurred so far offshore and was from a relatively small shark, Harbor Patrol officials decided not to issue any beach warnings, Neufer said.

Earlier this month, three shark attacks were reported in the vicinity of Vandenberg Air Force Base. On Oct. 2, a surfer was bitten on the knee by a 10- to 12-foot shark just off Wall Beach. The man, whose identity was not disclosed by VAFB officials, was treated for a puncture wound at a local hospital.

The next afternoon, a man fishing from his kayak near Point Arguello was injured when a great white shark rammed the vessel, knocking him into the water.

Less than an hour later, another fisherman escaped injury when a great white shark chomped down on the hard-plastic shell of his kayak, leaving gaping teeth marks.

A nearby fishing boat from Santa Barbara, the Elizabeth Ann, rescued both men, along with their four companions and took them safely back to shore.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Safely back onshore, an outrigger canoist recounts her close encounter with a shark while she paddled off La Mesa Park. (Dan Seibert photo)
Safely back onshore, an outrigger canoist recounts her close encounter with a shark while she paddled off La Mesa Park. (Dan Seibert photo)

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