Kayakers in Southern California called for help twice on Friday, as a great white shark struck at two groups in separate attack incidents.
The attacks happened off the coast of Santa Barbara County, California, about 60 miles north of the Santa Barbara Harbor. According to KEYT, fishermen Lou and Charles Christman heard the first distress call. Heading to the scene in their boat, they found a man clinging to the side of his kayak after it had been struck by a great white. The fishermen were able to rescue the kayaker and his friends, towing them to the boathouse at nearby Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Ryan Howell, of Central Coast Kayak Fishing, set out with friends around 11 a.m. and witnessed the first shark attack of the day, according to KSBW. Less than an hour later, however, it was his turn to be rescued, as a great white struck his kayak as well.
— Calypso Star Charter (@sharkcagediving) October 5, 2014
Around 2 p.m., Howell’s kayak was suddenly and aggressively attacked by a shark, believed to be a great white.
“I was thrown 5 to 10 feet in the water in the kayak,” Howell said. “I just remember my buddy yelling, ‘That shark is huge,’ and yelling my name over and over, but the kayak just kept getting thrashed.”
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) October 3, 2014
After the attack subsided, the damage the white shark inflicted on Howell’s kayak left it unusable. Bite marks perforated both ends of his boat, leaving him little choice but to jump on his friend’s kayak.
“There was no getting back on my kayak, it was beat up,” he said. “I’ve been in small car accidents, and as far as impact, it felt worse than that. It felt like I was getting hit by a car.”
Howell and his friends called for assistance, and once again the Christmans responded, returning to the area to rescue the second group of kayakers from the great white.
— KTLA (@KTLA) October 3, 2014
Surprisingly, the dual incidents mark the second violent shark encounter in the same area this week. As the Inquisitr previously noted, a surfer was struck by a white shark near Vandenburg Air Force Base on Friday. Officials closed a series of popular beaches in the area over the weekend, hoping to avoid another attack.
While the great white involved in Friday’s dual shark attacks hasn’t been located, it is also unclear whether or not the same animal was responsible.