Fourth Shark Attack In California This Month: Is The Same Great White Responsible?

A California woman managed to paddle herself to safety after a shark attacked her canoe, sending her flying into the water and marking the fourth attack this month in the area around Santa Barbara.

Tara Burnley was canoeing about three miles off the California coast when the shark struck her boat, according to KEYT. The shark, said to be a juvenile great white measuring about six feet, bit into the canoe’s outrigger, the force of its attack sending Burnley out of her boat and into the ocean. After biting the outrigger twice the shark swam away, as Burnley scrambled back aboard her canoe and paddle to shore.

Earlier this month, several people were attacked by a white shark in separate incidents in the same area off the Santa Barbara coastline. As The Inquisitr noted at the time, a kayaker who witnessed an attack found himself the victim of a great white just an hour later, thrown into the air as the shark struck from below. Surprisingly, both victims and their groups were rescued by the same fishermen.

Just a week before the kayakers were attacked, a surfer was struck by a white shark near Vandenburg Air Force Base. Officials closed several beaches in the area, hoping to prevent another incident.

Harbor Operations Director Mick Kronman noted that the shark bit into a small piece of Burnley’s canoe responsible for stabilizing it.

“The ama is the stabilizing arm that comes off the side of an outrigger and the shark bit that actually twice, and the second time she lost her balance and fell out of the outrigger canoe, to hear her tell it, but she was able to get back in and the shark did not harm her,” he said.

The incident was reported to Leadbetter Beach Harbor Patrol, who declined to post warnings since the attack took place so far offshore, away from areas frequented by beachgoers.

“We haven’t had an attack in city waters, ever, according to city records. And may it stay that way,” Kronman noted.

Shark attacks are a fairly rare occurrence along the Pacific Coast, as The Daily Mail points out. Only 39 have been reported in California between 2001 and 2013, five of which resulted in fatalities. California’s last fatal shark attack occurred in 2012, as a great white struck 39-year-old Francisco Javier Solorio Jr., inflicting severe wounds on his torso.

[Image via Today]