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11/16/2009 James White ( California )
Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:36 pm
San Rafael — On November 16, 2009 James White was fishing at Loch Lomond, San Rafael. He was standing on shore about 5 feet from the water. The skies were clear and the sea calm. Air temperature was estimated at 65 degrees Fahrenheit. There was no unusual behavior of marine life observed. White reported; “I was fishing at the Loch Lomond Harbor in San Rafael. It was low tide about 4:45 in the afternoon. I was catching smelt and mackerel. I hooked another smelt, as I was reeling it in my line became tangled under a rock a few feet out from shore. Seeing that the water was only 3 feet or so deep, I walked out about 5 feet, propped my right leg up on a rock for leverage, and with my left hand I reached down into the water to free my line. Within 20 seconds of putting my hand in the water it felt as if my hand went into a vise full of crushed glass. I thought the rock had fallen on my hand when about 6 feet from my hand I saw a long tail and dorsal fin I knew it was a shark. I tried to free my hand but every move I made the shark tried to pull my hand out to sea. With my free hand I hit the shark on top of its head twice. The second time it broke its grip. My hand suffered 7 puncture wounds and several lacerations/cuts. Another fisherman saw what happened and helped me reel in my line. The smelt was bitten in half. The shark had a large eye, blue in color, short snout, medium size mouth, body length approximately 6 feet, with the tail being 50% of the length of the body.” The shark's description is highly suggestive that a Thresher Shark (Alopiidae) was the causal species of this attack. This is the seventh unprovoked shark attack to be confirmed from the Pacific Coast during 2009. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.