BODEGA BAY (KPIX) — Warning signs were posted at a Sonoma County beach Friday evening after one surfer’s close encounter with a great white shark earlier in the week.
Santa Rosa resident Katie Wilson was just off shore when she found herself in a terrifying tangle with the shark, on Tuesday. She is lucky to be alive.
Wilson was surfing at Salmon Creek Beach near Bodega Bay when a great white shark bit into her surfboards leash.
State Parks Ocean Life Guard Aaron Pendergraft saw the incident. He said all the surfers who had been trying to catch waves quickly left the water.
“Most people in general, especially surfers, have a primal fear of getting attacked by sharks,” said Pendergraft.
The shark pulled the board with the leash in its mouth until it snapped in its teeth. The shaken and terrified surfer managed to escape without a scratch.
“Luckily, nothing happened to her. She was scared to the point where her husband had to push her onto the beach,” explained Pendergraft.
Local surfers like Chris Irwin said they are not too concerned with the new warning signs.
“The sign says there’s been a shark sighting and you’re entering the water at your own risk,” said Irwin. “But really, it’s always that way.”
Irwin said surfing and sharks rarely come together.
“You’re more likely to get hurt by getting hit by your board, hit somebody else, get sucked out or drown or something. The shark thing is the least of your worries, really,” said Irwin.
Pendergraft said Wilson showed remarkable courage by getting right back in the water.
“Actually surfed the very next day, which was good. She just wanted to get back on the horse,”
Friends told KPIX 5 Wilson plans to keep surfing on an almost daily basis.