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By Elisha Fieldstadt

A surfer in California narrowly escaped a shark attack unscathed, but the same can't be said for her surfboard.

Elinor Dempsey's board was bitten by a shark at Morro Strand State Beach, just north of Morro Bay, at about 10 a.m. Saturday morning, California State Parks official Lisa Remington told NBC affiliate KSBY.

When Dempsey found her board on the shore, it was missing a chunk that was bigger than her head.

Dempsey, 54, told KSBY that she was floating on her board when she saw a dark figure swimming underneath her. "And next thing I knew (the shark's) body was right here. Like literally next to me," she told the station.

The size of the shark bite suggests that a white shark was the culprit, according to the White Shark Conservation Trust. Experts will analyze the board bite to confirm the size and type of shark that was responsible, according to The Associated Press.

State Parks authorities are recommending that people stay out of the water at Morro Strand for at least 72 hours.

Officials in San Diego closed down La Jolla beaches, about 350 miles down the California coast, on Saturday after Kayakers captured footage of a hammerhead shark circling under their boat.

Bite mark from a great white shark.NBC News