‘I just beat up a shark’: kayaker fights off hammerhead shark
A kayaker fishing off the shore of Gaviota State Beach near Santa Barbara, Calif., is lucky to be alive after defending himself against a hammerhead shark pursuing him on Sept. 19, 2015.
The kayaker, Mark McCracken, a construction worker, uploaded video to YouTube and Instagram in 2015 which has gone viral showing him struggling to fight off the hostile predator.
In the video, McCracken reacts to the hammerhead shark creeping up behind by smacking it with his paddle every time it got close.
“It hit the back of my kayak twice and I turned around to see it,” McCracken said, according to NBC News. “I couldn’t tell if he was biting [the kayak] or if he was head-butting it but soon as I saw it I just started going at him with the paddle.”
The shark continued to stalk McCracken, encircling his prey waiting for opportunities to strike – every attempt denied with a swift beating from McCracken’s paddle.
“He’s not leaving, he’s still here,” McCracken groaned, exhausted from fighting off the shark. “He does not like me at all.”
McCracken races towards the shore after reeling in his fishing lines, vigilant that the next attack could come at any time.
“Pretty sure I just kicked a hammerhead’s a**,” McCracken laughed as he gets close to the shore. “I just beat up a shark — how was your day?”
The relieved kayaker celebrated prematurely as the shark takes one last shot at turning McCracken into its next meal.
It wasn’t until McCracken was safely on shore that he breathed a sigh of relief.
“Can’t get me now, buddy!” McCracken taunted the shark.
The hammerhead shark refused to give up stalking McCracken even after he was safely on dry land.
“He’s still out there,” McCracken said, as the shark swam in shallow water.
“[The shark] followed me all the way into about three feet of water,” McCracken told NBC News. “Even after I got out of my kayak and made it to the beach he was sitting right there … it was pretty creepy.”
The struggle went on for almost 15 minutes before McCracken made it to shore.
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