Shark Takes Big Bite Out of California Surfer's Board

Elinor Dempsey was uninjured.

ByMICHELLE KIM, DAVID CHIU and EMILY SHAPIRO
August 30, 2015, 12:06 PM

— -- While Elinor Dempsey wasn't injured in her encounter with a shark Saturday, her surfboard didn't fare as well.

Dempsey was surfing in front of Morro Strand Campground in the central coast of California when she noticed what she thought was a dolphin underneath her board, according to supervising ranger Lisa Remington of the California Department of Parks and Recreation. But then the animal -- believed to be a great white shark -- went after her.

Dempsey pushed the board toward the shark as she jumped off. Nearby surfers helped bring her to shore.

Park rangers evacuated the water soon afterwards.

Dempsey was later reunited with her board, which had a 14-by-8 inch piece chomped out of it.

PHOTO: Surfer Elinor Dempsey with her surfboard. Dempsey had an encounter with a marine animal at Morro Strand Campground in California on August 29, 2015, that later turned out to be a six-foot long shark.
Surfer Elinor Dempsey with her surfboard. Dempsey had an encounter with a marine animal at Morro Strand Campground in California on August 29, 2015, that later turned out to be a six-foot long shark. The shark took a bite that measured 14 inches wide.
Elinor Dempsey

Fish and Wildlife biologist Mike Harris, who was also in the area, said the bite was likely made by a 6-foot-long great white shark.

Dempsey told the San Luis Obispo Tribune that she was shaken but more upset that she never had enough time to surf.

“I didn’t get a wave,” said the 54-year-old surfer. “That’s the worst part -- I got no waves.”

Hammerhead Shark Circles Kayakers in Video

VIDEO: Hammerhead Shark Follows Kayakers in California Waters
Witnesses told lifeguards that the shark followed the kayakers all the way back to the beach.

Further down the coast, in La Jolla, California, kayakers and swimmers had a terrifying encounter with a hammerhead shark that was caught on video.

A hammerhead shark about 8 to 10 feet long followed the kayakers and swimmers all the way to the shore, according to ABC affiliate KGTV in San Diego. Video showed it circling the kayakers.

Beaches reopened Sunday after they were closed as a precaution.

The Associated Press contributed to the story.

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