The Courier-Mail



LOS ANGELES: A female surfer has escaped injury after a great white shark bit her board as she surfed off California’s coast.

Elinor Dempsey, 54, said she was surfing at Morro Strand State Beach, just north of Morro Bay on Saturday morning when a shark swam under her board and chomped on it, leaving a 35cm wide bite mark.

Ms Dempsey (pictured) pushed her board toward the shark as she jumped off. Other surfers who saw the attack warned everyone else to get out of the water. Some of the surfers helped Ms Dempsey reunite with her board, and she got back on it to get to shore.

She said she was shaken by the encounter and was considerin­g taking a break from surfing.

“I’ll be staying close in from now on,’’ she said.

Officials closed the beach for 72 hours and posted warning signs at nearby beaches, according to the beach’s supervisin­g ranger, Lisa Remington. A US Fish and Wildlife biologist examined the board and estimated the shark was a 1.83m adult male.

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