SAN FRANCISCO (USA)–Just a couple of days after the attack on a surfer at Marina State Beach, a professional surfer quits  his pro surfcontest in the cold waters of San Francisco’s Ocean Beach after saying he saw a large shark. 

Hawaiian surfer Dusty Payne, 22 years old, left the surf while competing against Jordy Smith of South Africa. Payne said he spotted a large shark fin just outside the “lineup,’’ where surfers sit in the water and wait for their turn.

“I was just sitting there, and I was waiting for a wave. I’ve seen dolphins before, and it wasn’t a dolphin,’’ Payne told the Rip Curl Pro Search event’s camera crew on the beach during an interview. “It was the biggest fin I’ve ever seen in my life coming straight at me.’’

A contest boat floating just offshore called in after the alleged sighting, saying they saw a dolphin, not a shark.

“This obviously doesn’t preclude the situation of having both a dolphin and shark in the water at the same time, and event organizers launched a jet ski to further assess the situation,’’ said Dave Prodan, media director for the Association of Surfing Professionals.

Aside from Payne’s initial report, no further sighting of the animal was confirmed and the competition resumed without pausing.

The sighting follows an attack by a 9-foot (2.7-meter) shark on a surfer Saturday at Marina State Beach in Monterey County, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of San Francisco. Eric Tarantino suffered injuries to his neck and arm, but was released from the hospital Monday.

While the waters off San Francisco are known to be host to white sharks, attacks are rare. The last attack, which was not fatal, occurred Nov. 2, 2005, according to the Shark Research Committee.


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