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A kayaker had a close encounter with what he believes is a large shark. It took a bite out of the kayak, but the man was not hurt.
Kayaker Glenn Uyeda says what surprised him the most about the incident was the amount of impact he felt when he was rammed by the large creature.
“It was like a freight train. I’m moving probably four, five knots. I wasn’t going slow. It stopped me dead in the water,” Uyeda said.
Uyeda was fishing on his kayak about a mile offshore at around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday when he was bowled over from below by something he knew was large and powerful.
“It just threw me out of my kayak about five feet up in the air and then it dumped my kayak over. At first, I thought it was a whale tail or I thought it was a submarine ’cause the impact was so hard,” Uyeda said.
Uyeda, who owns Aiea Bowl, was not hurt, so he started swimming and saw a large gray dark shadow swimming away. But the creature definitely left its mark. The bottom of the kayak shows teeth marks about 30 inches wide. There are jagged scratches and tiny holes that punctured the hull.
When Uyeda got back on the kayak, it started taking on water. Luckily, he had installed a bilge pump just last week.
“When I was going home heading into Hawaii Kai Marina, it was pumping constantly, so I know there were holes in the boat,” Uyeda said.
Uyeda says he goes fishing there all the time and he has seen smaller sharks, but nothing that big. And because the bottom of his kayak is brightly painted, he’s not that surprised to have a shark encounter.
“I’m always prepared for it. I feel that we’re in their water. I’m also riding a kayak that looks like a fish,” Uyeda said.
Shark experts with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources have yet to confirm if the kayak was bitten by a shark.
As for Uyeda, he says he plans to go back out and go fishing Saturday.