Last updated: 02:00 PM ET, Tue September 01 2015

Woman Uninjured in Shark Attack, Surfboard Not so Lucky

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | September 01, 2015

Woman Uninjured in Shark Attack, Surfboard Not so Lucky

Photo via Twitter

Several shark attacks have been reported throughout the summer, and one woman in central California came away uninjured from a haunting attack Saturday afternoon.

Her surfboard wasn’t so lucky, though.

In a report from Patrick S. Pemberton of the San Luis Obispo Tribune, 54-year-old surfer Elinor Dempsey had been in the water in front of Morro Strand Campground for about 35 minutes when she saw what she believed to be a dolphin swimming two feet below her board.

Instead of swimming past her as dolphins tend to do, the shark came out of the water and took a chunk out of the surfboard. Dempsey fell off the board and pushed it toward the shark while yelling. According to witnesses, the shark went underwater after biting the board and swam away without physically attacking Dempsey.

With the help of several others surfers in the area, Dempsey made it back to the beach safely and without suffering any injuries. As she made it out of the water, supervising beach ranger Lisa Remington arrived on the scene.

Remington told the San Luis Obispo Tribune, “We were just patrolling the beach, actually, on another call. We just drove up on it right as she got out of the water. We PA’d and got the surfers in this area out of the water so everybody is out of the water. We also let (Morro Bay) Harbor Patrol know so they can clear the water down on the other end of the beach.”

Katie Beasley of Fox5 News shared an image of the board and Dempsey on Twitter:

The bite, which is now believed to have been caused by a great white shark, left a missing chuck of the board that measured 13.5 inches wide by eight inches deep. While Dempsey was thankful to be alive, she was actually disappointed she didn’t get to do any surfing before the attack.

“And I didn’t get a wave,” she told Pemberton. “That’s the worst part — I got no waves.”

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