Shark Sighting at Ocean Beach During Contest

Competition gets under way three days after shark attack in Monterey.

By Lori Preuitt
|  Tuesday, Nov 1, 2011  |  Updated 4:54 PM PDT
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Dusty Payne says it was no dolphin.

Dusty Payne says it was no dolphin.

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Raw Video: RipCurl Surf Contest

At least one surfer left in the middle of a heat after he said he saw a shark headed right at him.
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A professional surfing competition got under way at San  Francisco's Ocean Beach Tuesday morning, but a shark sighting caused at least one surfer to make a quick exit.

Dusty Payne from Hawaii left the waters in the middle of a heat because he said he saw a shark just outside the lineup.

Payne told AP, it was the "biggest fin I've even seen in my life coming straight at me."

Other people in the area said they thought it was a dolphin, but Payne said he has seen a lot of dolphins in his day and that he was sure it was a shark. He told NBC Bay Area he thought the shark was 15 foot long.

The competition continued Tuesday following the reported sighting and Payne said he will be among the competitors. He said normally you don't want to surf in the same spot where you see a shark, but said he needed to complete the competition.

Just three days ago a great white shark attacked the surfer in Monterey County.  Eric Tarantino needed surgery following two bites to his neck and arm, but was released from the hospital Monday and is expected to fully recover.

  The surf contest is part of an Association of Surfing Professionals' World Tour and is held in a different spot around  the world each year. San Francisco follows other spots such as Puerto  Rico, Portugal and Indonesia..

If you want to check it out for yourself go to the northern end of Ocean Beach near stairways 18-20.

It is also being streamed online in a free webcast at  www.live.ripcurl.com.
 


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