Great White Shark Bites Man's Kayak in California, Leaves Behind Two Massive Teeth

Californian kayakers perusing the coast of Catalina Island had a run-in with a 19-foot great white shark⁠—and have the teeth marks to prove it.

One of the men, Danny McDaniel, had a close encounter with the shark when it took a bite out of his nine-foot kayak.

"Felt push to the left, looked to right, giant great white shark a foot from my boot," McDaniel told local reporters. "His upper half of body was out of the water, his dorsal fin was out of the water."

Jon Chambers, who was kayaking alongside McDaniel on Saturday morning when the incident took place, was the first to spot the animal. "I yelled at him to hit it," he recalled.

The pair said they were frozen in fear as the great white clamped his teeth onto McDaniel's kayak only inches away from where McDaniel was positioned.

The shark hung on to the kayak for approximately five seconds before letting go and moving on. McDaniel and Chambers said they remained frozen with their paddles out of the water for a while afterwards, just in case it decided to make a return.

The shark didn't return but the two men have bite marks plus two large shark teeth to show for their adventure.

"I don't think he took a full chomp. I think he just took a nibble and pushed," said McDaniel.

McDaniel said his close shave with a great white shark won't scare him out of the water. Both McDaniel and Chambers decided to continue with their original plan and went scuba diving that very evening.

"It's one for the books. Not something you want to replicate," Chambers said of the encounter.

"He had the best shark attack experience without it being a bad story."

According to 10 News San Diego, McDaniel offered to buy the Kayak from Power Scuba—the company that organized the scuba diving trip—but they turned down his offer.

Shark Breaching
One kayaker had a lucky escape when a great white shark locked his jaw on his boat, just inches from where he was sitting.

Shark attacks may be nightmare fodder in the popular imagination but in reality, they are extremely uncommon—and fatal shark attacks are even rarer. According to Statista, there were just 66 shark attacks reported globally in 2018. Only four were fatal. In contrast, a 2013 study published in Marine Policy estimated that at least 100 million sharks are killed annually.

The U.S. routinely tops the list when it comes to the number of unprovoked shark attacks, with 32 incidents confirmed for 2018, the Florida Museum reports—a significant drop from the 53 attacks recorded in 2017 (equivalent to 60 percent of the yearly world total).

Of the 50 states, Florida sees the highest number of unprovoked attacks. In 2018, 24 percent of all unprovoked attacks occurred in the Sunshine State.

As of October 4, there have been 45 shark attacks reported in the U.S. in 2019 and 78 worldwide, according to the website Of those, 24 were in Florida.

Despite being the epicenter of shark attacks, the Florida Museum calculates the lifetime risk of dying from a shark attack in the U.S. is only one in 3,748,067. That is less than death by accidental poisoning (one in 193), lightning (one in 79,746) and fireworks (one in 340,733).