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Shark bites woman's canoe off coast of Oceanside Harbor

Posted: 2:07 PM, Jun 27, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-28 12:14:10Z
Shark bites woman's canoe in Oceanside
Shark bites woman's canoe in Oceanside

OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) -- Lifeguards in Oceanside are investigating after a shark reportedly attacked a woman’s outrigger canoe off the coast Monday.

After 25 years canoeing, Julie Wolfe says it was an exciting day. She had just spent several thousand dollars on a new canoe and was ready to break it in on the open water.

According to lifeguards, the attack happened roughly two miles off the coast of Oceanside Harbor. 

“I felt this, something, hit my...the bottom of my canoe, hard," she said. "Like a car had hit me, and I knew right away what it was.”

Around 5:30 p.m. a shark came up from below and bit Wolfe's canoe.

VIDEO: Shark chases seal off coast of San Diego

"I wasn’t sure if it was chasing me, so I was paddling real fast. And then about a minute into my paddle, I felt a tug," she said. "I felt it tug on my paddle, and that’s when I screamed like a little girl, aaaahhh!!”

Despite her canoe taking on water, Wolfe was able to make it back to shore.

Wolfe was unable to see the shark due to the nature of the attack, but after talking with an expert at the Shark Research Institute, Wolfe learned it was an 11-12 foot great white shark that bit her canoe. 

Wolfe said that the expert told her she was likely in the shark's feeding area and it just wanted her gone.

"He wanted me out, which was fine," she said. "I was fine with leaving!"

At least, she said, the damage is to her ride and not her body.

"The sharks live in the ocean, that’s their home, and we’re entering it," Wolfe said. "The only thing I can say is appreciate everyday.”

Even though she was terrified, Wolfe plans to be back out on the water as soon as her canoe is fixed.