March 7 (UPI) -- A surfer escaped an encounter with an aggressive shark off the California coast by using his surfboard to protect himself.
Nathan Holstedt said he was surfing about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday near Pacific City when he felt something hit his leg and yank on the back of his surfboard.
"It pulled me straight down like a plunger," Holstedt told KGW-TV. "I was two feet under."
Holstedt said he returned to the surface and quickly saw the shark coming back toward him.
"It was like this thing is going to hit me. So, I just grabbed the board," he said. "I could see the shadow of its head and then i just saw the tail whipping and i just had a split second to put something between me and it."
Holstedt told The Oregonian he "tomahawked" the board between himself and the shark, possibly striking the predator in the process.
The surfer was able to return to shore, where he discovered a bite mark on his surfboard just six inches from where his leg had been.
Oregon State Parks said a ranger was posted at the beach after the incident and a sign was put up warning surfers and swimmers of the shark sighting.