A fisherman from Eureka was on his kayak in Shelter Cove over Memorial Day weekend when he was attacked by a great white shark, damaging his kayak and having the man fear for his life.
Michael Thallheimer, Jr., 40, was having a great morning on Monday, hitting the water around 6:15 am and catching three fish in the first hour and a half. According to Thallheimer, the third fish was a 36-inch ling cod, which he put on his fish clip. That proved as “chum” for a nearby shark.
Shortly after catching his third fish of the day, a shark attacked him, biting a hole in the side of his kayak and grasping on until he hit it out of desperation.
“I slapped the thing as hard as I could on the end of its nose,” said Thallheimer to the Redheaded Blackbelt.
According to Thallheimer, the shark was a great white sitting between 16 and 18 feet long. After he confronted it with a slap, it swam away, but not before damaging his kayak and leaving him out in the water sinking.
As the kayak was taking on water, he was able to call 911 just before a wave rolled him into the water with the shark. He was quickly rescued by a local fishing boat, but it was a terrifying situation to be in the open ocean with a great white nearby.
Everyone made it to the shore safely and a video was posted to Instagram that showed the aftermath and the damaged kayak on the shore:
Thankfully, no one was injured on this scary event along the Humboldt Coast.
Northern California’s Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine