San Diego

‘Thought We Were Prey:' Great White Shark Leaves 2 Teeth in San Diego Man's Kayak

Two San Diego men are thanking their lucky kayaks for taking the brunt of a great white shark bite near Catalina Island over the weekend.

Danny McDaniel and Jon Chambers can call two large shark teeth souvenirs, or maybe even good luck charms, considering the shark they once belonged to.

The two experienced scuba divers were taking a break from their diving trip, coordinated through La Jolla-based company Power Scuba, to kayak to Ship Rock near Catalina Island when Daniel felt a strong push.

"I look back and I see this giant, actually just a snout was on the boat as he was chomping down on the kayak," said McDaniel.

Chambers was to Daniel’s left about 20 feet away.

"He was in attack mode. He thought we were prey," said Chambers. "It was petrifying and amazing at the same time."

The two told NBC 7 the encounter lasted four seconds in total. The shark lost interest quickly after taking a bite, narrowly missing Daniel.

"He wasn't aggressive. He didn't grab a hold and shake his head. He just grabbed and pushed," said McDaniel.

Once they realized they both were OK, they waited for a few minutes to make sure the shark was gone before starting their 25 minute paddle back to Catalina Island.

"I said, 'Jon I got a tooth.' He goes, 'Yeah, is there another one?' It was a good experience that I would never want to do again, but it was a good experience," said McDaniel.

Chambers and McDaniel said experts at Scripps Institution of Oceanography estimated the shark was around 19 feet long based on the size of the two teeth. It could be one of the largest ever recorded in the area.

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