MONTEREY, Calif. (CBS) – It was a 20 minute ordeal off the coast of Monterey Bay that left surfer Brian Correiar shaken and brought him within feet of one of the deadliest predators on earth: a great white shark. Correiar was kayaking near California’s San Carlos Beach when the shark attacked out of the blue on March 18. Now he’s sharing the details, as well as a disturbing video of the frightening encounter, with the world.
“Suddenly, I heard a loud bang as my kayak and I flew into the air,” Correiar writes in a blog post on diver.net. “I landed outside my boat, look back to it and to my horror saw a large great white shark no more than three feet away had my kayak in its mouth. I could clearly see it’s 2-inch teeth and it’s black eye that looked lifeless,” he writes.
Correiar describes swimming wildly for shore, as survival techniques raced through his head.
“In between yelling ‘No God No’ I was shocked at how many thoughts about how to survive ran through my head,” he writes. “Don’t splash, don’t let your legs hang down, keep your eyes on the shark and swim —away, don’t act like a panicked seal. After five minutes, maybe five years — it was hard to tell, I pulled out my Nautilus Lifeline and called in a mayday to the coast guard.”
Meanwhile, the surfer says, the great white behind him was using his kayak as a chew toy, wrapping its massive teeth around the vessel.
Later, after Correiar was rescued by a family on a small sailboat and ultimately the Coast Guard, onlookers told him that the shark appeared as large as his 14-foot kayak. That suggests that the creature involved was either a female or an unusually large male.
“Bite marks show that it had the whole girth of the boat in its mouth,” he writes. “My boat is covered with bite marks from end to end with multiple punctures. People told me that they could see the shark slapping the surface of the water with its fins as it mauled my boat. I had always thought that great whites hit a target to test it and then backed off. This was a prolonged attack on the surface.”
This brush with a great white shark went against everything Correiar had heard about incidents of the sort, but thankfully he survived in spite of that.
“I suspect that I just joined a very small club,” the stunned surfer wrote the night after the attack, “one I never wanted to join!”