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Shark Nearly Bites Girl, Snacks on Her Paddleboard Near Avalon

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Mon, May 7, 2012 at 12:22 PM

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Updated at the bottom with details of the encounter. First posted at 10:58 a.m.

A 15-year-old girl was nearly breakfast for a shark off the coast of Santa Catalina Island over the weekend.

The shark bit her paddleboard several times about a mile from Avalon, while she was 200 yards offshore Sunday morning, L.A. County Fire Department officials said.

Lucky for her ...

... the shark's rows of teeth missed the teen.


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She was with other paddleboarders when it happened, fire officials said.

She was not injured, but word of the attack spread fast across the island.

In response, county fire authorities are stepping up the lifeguard-rescue-boat patrols in the area.

We called fire officials for more information, which they said would be forthcoming later today.

[Update at 12:22 p.m.]: L.A. County Fire Department Capt. Mark Savage tells us the girl's paddleboard suffered from a "test bite" by the shark, which swam away after apparently realizing that it wasn't that tasty.

It was, he said, a great white.

The teen was out with a group of paddleboarders from a camp on the island when the encounter happened during their morning paddle session, he said: They all came in, and area campers were warned by lifeguards.

He said it happened in a "fairly remote" area of the island about a mile from Avalon. Savage:

We advise people to be mindful when you go into the water you are in an area with all sorts of wildlife. Make sure you have awareness.

[With reporting from City News Service / @dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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