SUMMERLAND, Calif. - A great white shark took a bite of a Carpinteria fisherman's kayak near a reef at Summerland Beach.
"I got kind of an eerie feeling and boom! A locomotive came out of the water."
Darren Kenney was fishing for yellowtail at Horseshoe Rock when the shark suddenly appeared and bit down on his kayak.
The impact flipped the kayak and knocked Kenney into the water.
"I had a floatation vest on but the problem is when I got back to the kayak,
it started sinking and I got this tiny piece of plastic that I'm hanging on
to for dear life," Kenney said.
He was floating in the water for about five minutes when he spotted a fishing boat.
Kenney flagged the boat down with his paddle and was pulled to safety.
Kenney said the Harbor Master measured the bite marks on his kayak and estimated the great white shark to be about 12 to 14 feet long.
But, Kenney said it looked and felt so much bigger.
"The aggression of that shark, you could sense it in the air," Kenney said.
Kenney has a cut on his ear and a dislocated thumb from the encounter.
"I remember seeing this tail flying out of the water at me. I didn't know
if the tail got me or the kayak got me," Kenney said.
Kenney also lost his cell phone, two fishing poles and very expensive bait, but he's just happy he made it home to his wife in one piece.
"I'm grateful to be alive. Will I be back out there? Probably so, but probably not
in a kayak," Kenney said.
Kenney said he wanted to share his story because of all the shark sightings
and encounters up and down the coast this summer.
Kenney said he wants people to stay close to shore unless they are in a boat.