GAVIOTA STATE PARK (CBSLA.com) — A kayaker off the coast of Goleta had his GoPro camera rolling when a hammerhead shark repeatedly tried to ram and bite his kayak.
With only a paddle at his disposal, he pushed the shark away and made it to safety.
Mark McCracken posted the video below on Instagram: "I was trolling for bonito yesterday when out of nowhere this tweaked out hammerhead started ramming and biting my kayak. I had to hit him over 20 times before he finally gave me some space but still stalked me for a half mile all the way back to shore."
Even after McCracken made it to shore at Gaviota State Park, the shark paced in three feet of water as if it was waiting for the him to return.
"Pretty bizarre and crazy experience to say the least," McCracken said.
The ocean along Southern California is experiencing an influx of hammerheads and, with that, more frequent encounters with beachgoers.
Earlier this month, Dylan Marks was shark-fishing on his kayak near Malibu when a hammerhead bit his right foot.
The next day, Robert Wagner was fishing for yellowtail off Huntington Beach when a 10-foot hammerhead bit the bait ball off. He captured the shark encounter on video.
Sharks are not rare in the waters off Southern California, but hammerheads are, said Ralph Collier, a shark expert, who has been researching sharks in California since 1962. He said he has not heard of this many sightings of hammerheads since the '60s.
"These sharks are everywhere. They're moving up here following their food because these warmer water fishes are moving up here," Collier said.
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