A young surfer who survived an attack by a 16-foot shark said the water was eerily glassy and calm just before she was attacked from behind, leaving her desperately trying to defend herself.
Halavais was paddling into the water off Salmon Creek Beach in Sonoma County in Northern California on Wednesday when the shark attacked. Halavais, an experienced surfer, said she got away after she hit the shark on its tail.
"A 16-foot shark is a big shark. It's not just 16 feet in length. It's big. I couldn't fit my arms around its tail. Its fin, its main dorsal fin, was like taller than me," Halavais recounted for reporters at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital as she sat in a wheelchair, her bandaged leg extended in front of her.
Halavais, from Santa Rosa, was helped from the water by other surfers. She was taken to a hospital with a bite that stretched from her thigh to her calf. She was listed in good condition. The beach has been the site of several shark attacks in recent years. Police believe the shark likely was a great white. They have closed the beach and warned surfers in nearby locations, the Washington Post reported.