SAN FRANCISCO — Corte Madera marathon swimmer Simon Dominguez was only a few miles away from becoming the first person to swim from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands, when a great white shark got in the way.
The marathon swimmer was attempting to finish his 28 mile swim when his 16-year-old daughter, who was in a support boat, spotted the great white just 3 ½ miles from reaching his goal, according to the Marin Independent Journal.
The shark was estimated to be 12- to 15-foot and was observed circling the boat and swimming toward Dominguez.
After 18 hours in the frigid ocean, he reluctantly climbed into his support boat. The 49-year-old swimmer had blood streaming down his chest from chafed skin around his neck, and that may have attracted the shark.
He expressed disappointment for not being able to accomplish his goal. “But you can’t control Mother Nature, and she decided to throw a shark at me,” Dominguez told the Marin IJ.
Dominguez set out for his aquatic journey from under the Golden Gate Bridge on Tuesday night, wearing only a swim cap, goggles, swimsuit and a thick coat of grease for protection against jelly fish stings and to keep him a little warmer in the 50-degree water.
He was hoping to reach his destination in 14- to 15-hours, but the great white sighting forced him to abandon his efforts at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, after swimming more than 25 miles.
When asked if he will make another attempt, Dominguez told the Marin IJ that he would first have to check with his wife and daughters before making that decision.