2 men lucky to be alive after giant 19-foot great white shark attacks kayak

Both men said the terrifying experience wouldn’t keep them out of the water.

October 9, 2019, 6:59 AM

Two men are lucky to be alive after a shark attacked them on a kayaking trip over the weekend leaving massive bite marks on their vessel – and two huge teeth.

Danny McDaniel and Jon Chambers were kayaking near Ship Rock located about two miles off the coast of Catalina Island on Saturday morning when they got the surprise of their life.

“[I] felt [a] push of my kayak to the side and I thought Jon was messing with me,” said McDaniel when asked to describe the incident in an interview with ABC News’ Sand Diego affiliate KGTV.

Chambers said he saw McDaniel’s kayak shift suddenly and drastically – and then continued to move.

It was then that both of the men saw what was causing the kayak to rock.

“[I] saw a giant, triangular, conical-shaped head right there and a huge body. Just a massive body," said McDaniel. "His upper half of body was out of the water; his dorsal fin was out of the water."

PHOTO: Danny McDaniel was kayaking off of Catalina Island in California on Oct. 5, 2019, when a great white shark bit his kayak.
Danny McDaniel was kayaking off of Catalina Island in California on Oct. 5, 2019, when a great white shark bit his kayak.
Handout via KGTV

It was a great white shark -- estimated to be 19-feet-long – clamped down onto the back of McDaniel’s 9-foot-long kayak and only inches away from McDaniel himself.

“I completely froze … the primary thought on top of everything else was don’t fall into the water. Other thoughts were oh my God, this thing is giant,” said McDaniel.

"[I] look at it and said, 'oh crap, oh crap, oh crap'," said Chambers. "I yelled at him to hit it," Chambers said of his initial reaction to seeing the giant shark.

Both men just froze in fear while the great white held onto the kayak for around 5 seconds before it loosened its grip, turned to move between the two men’s kayaks and disappeared into the depths.

The men cautiously made their way back to shore where they found puncture marks on the kayak, several scratches, and two giant teeth embedded in the kayak.

"I don't think he took a full chomp. I think he just took a nibble and pushed," said McDaniel. “I am grateful, obviously, that I didn’t get injured. It wasn’t my time I suppose.”

In spite of the terrifying incident, both men told KGTV that the experience wouldn’t keep them out of the water. In fact, they even completed their scuba diving trip later that evening.

"I think I've had my fill of great white sharks; I'm good. But I'm fortunate to have this experience," McDaniel said.

“He literally encountered the largest fish I have ever seen in 20 years of scuba diving and he came away from it unscathed. That is one for the books. It is not something you want to replicate,” said Chambers.

Related Topics