car crash

Kayaker Describes Being Thrashed by Shark Off SoCal Coast

A kayaker who said his boat was thrashed by a shark in waters off Santa Barbara County, California, on Friday walked away unscathed and described the impact as worse than a car crash.

"I was thrown 5 to 10 feet in the water in the kayak," Ryan Howell said. "I just remember my buddy yelling, 'That shark is huge!' and yelling my name over and over, but the kayak just kept getting thrashed."

The shark encounter was the second in two days in the same area, near the Vandenberg Air Force Base, after a surfer was attacked by a shark on Thursday, forcing officials to close beaches to surfers through the weekend.

Friday's ordeal began when Howell, of Central Coast Kayak Fishing, and some friends started fishing from their kayaks about 11 a.m., and they saw another kayaker get knocked out of his boat by a shark, Howell told NBC4. That person was helped by some fishermen, he said.

Howell and his friends stayed together and continued fishing.

While he was in the water about 2 p.m., his kayak was suddenly and aggressively pushed by a shark, he said.

He got bite marks in the front and back of his kayak and decided to jump onto his friend's kayak.

"There was no getting back on my kayak, it was beat up," Howell said. "I've been in small car accidents, and as far as impact, it felt worse than that. It felt like I was getting hit by a car."

Howell called for help and went back to shore without getting hurt.

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