MORRO BAY, San Luis Obispo County (CBS) — A shark warning went up in Moro Bay after a surfer narrowly escaped an encounter with a great white off the central coast.
An early morning trip for Elinor Dempsey ended quickly after a 6-foot juvenile shark took a bite out of her board.
Dempsy, 54 was surfing at Morro Strand State Beach, just north of Morro Bay, around 10 a.m.
"It was under me, surfaced, it took the board and I was out of there. I never looked back," Dempsy recalled. "It seems really surreal...like it didn't happen."
Several other people were in the water when it happened.
"I was just about three feet out from the next guy...so I was just a little bit further out. Maybe it was the red board," said Dempsy, who body surfed in after the incident. "I was able to ride the wave in, on my belly."
Surfers hurried to warn people to get out of the water and retrieved Dempsy's board, which now features a bite mark estimated at 14 inches. The Cancer survivor has no plans yet for the damaged momento.
"Someone said 'hang it as wall art'...I'm not sure I always want to remember that, so I'm not quite sure yet," Dempsy said.
Officials closed the beach for 72 hours and posted warning signs at nearby beaches.
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