Great white shark halts marathon swim in San Francisco Bay
SAN FRANCISCO -- A great white shark thwarted a Northern California man's quest to become the first person to swim from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands.
Corte Madera marathon swimmer Simon Dominguez was trying to swim about 28 miles when his teen daughter, in a support boat, spotted the great white just 3 miles from his goal, KPIX-TV reported Thursday.
After 18 hours in the frigid ocean, he reluctantly climbed into his support boat as the 12-to-15-foot shark circled it.
Out of the water, the 49-year-old, blood streaming down his chest from chafed skin around his neck, said he was disappointed that he didn't finish the swim.
"It was hard. But a shark is a shark," Dominguez said.
Four swimmers have swum from the Farallon Islands to San Francisco, but Dominguez would have been the first to make the trip in the other direction.
The islands are a breeding ground for great whites. But Dominguez said he decided to make the attempt in the summer before breeding season normally begins in the fall.
The 240-pound swimmer jumped into the cold ocean and began the swim under the Golden Gate Bridge Tuesday night, wearing only a cap, goggles, swimsuit and a thick coat of grease to guard against jelly fish stings and keep him a little warmer in the 50-degree water.
After giving up the swim, he said his only plans at the moment were to "go straight to the pub, have a few beers and decide what the next steps are."