07/22/2007 Vic Calandra (California) No Injury

Shark Attack Survivors News Archive for Shark Attacks in 2007.

07/22/2007 Vic Calandra (California) No Injury

Postby sharkbait » Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:48 pm

Malibu Beach — On July 22, 2007 Vic Calandra accompanied by 20 competitors was paddle boarding from Zuma Beach to Malibu in the 10-mile Tommy Zahn Paddleboard Race. They had all entered the water at the Zuma Beach Lifeguard station at about 9:00 AM. There was a slight overcast with no wind and a small swell. He was standing on his board using a single paddle to propel himself and had passed Paradise Cove and Corral Beach and had nearly reached the incline where Malibu Road starts. He was about a mile and a quarter offshore with another competitor 300 yards farther outside of his location. Calandra recounted the following to Journalist Ben Marcus; "The ocean was calm when I heard the sound of something cutting through the water. I stopped paddling and turned around and saw something big in the water behind me. I thought it might be a dolphin, but the fin kept coming out of the water until it was 18 – 24 inches high. The fin was about 30 feet behind me and tracked in the wake of my paddleboard for another 50 – 100 yards, closing the distance slowly until it was 10 feet away. That is when the melee began. The shark nudged my board from behind and I slapped at the water with my paddle just as it turned on its side. I got a full look at it as it past my board only two feet below the surface. It was 12 feet long with an immense girth of about 3.5 feet on either side of the dorsal fin. The shark swam laterally three or four times under me as I continued slapping at it. The shark seemed to be very aggressive and agitated. I continued to maneuver my board for several minutes trying to avoid being struck by the shark. This allowed three other paddlers to catch up to me. I managed to attract the attention of one. It was Joey Everett an LA County Fireman and Lifeguard stationed at Zuma Beach. When Everett was about 25 yards from me the shark rammed the tail of my board. Everett yelled, "Don't fall! He's on your tail. I'm going to try and ram him!' Everett paddled up and over the shark with his board and I started swinging with my paddle. I was screaming at the shark and bumping it with my board and hitting it on the nose but I had no idea if that was scaring the shark or making it more aggressive. The shark made at least 6 aggressive strikes at my board during our mutual stand against it. We saw a fishing boat about 150 – 200 yards away and headed for it. When we finally reached the boat Everett went aboard and called Baywatch for assistance as there were still more than a dozen paddlers on the water. I continued on to warn other participants and finish the race." White Sharks are known to frequent this location from March to September. Caution should be exercised when utilizing this area for your ocean water activities. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.

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