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Great white shark thwarts marathon swim in San Francisco Bay

A great white shark thwarted a Northern California man's quest to become the first person to swim from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands.

Marathon swimmer Simon Dominguez, from Corte Madera, was trying to swim about 28 miles (45km) when his teenage daughter, in a support boat, spotted the great white just 3.5 miles (5.6km) from his goal, KPIX-TV reported.

After 18 hours in the chilly ocean, he reluctantly climbed into his support boat as the 12ft-15ft (3.7m-4.6m) shark circled it.

Out of the water, the 49-year-old, blood streaming down his chest from chafed skin around his neck, said he was disappointed that he had been unable to finish the swim.

"It was hard. But a shark is a shark," Mr Dominguez said.

Four swimmers have swum from the Farallon Islands to San Francisco, but Mr Dominguez would have been the first to make the trip in the other direction.

The islands are a breeding ground for great whites. But Mr Dominguez said he decided to make the attempt in the summer before breeding season normally begins in the autumn.

The 17st 2lb (109kg) swimmer jumped into the cold ocean and began the swim under the Golden Gate Bridge on Tuesday night, wearing only a cap, goggles, swimsuit and a thick coat of grease to guard against jelly fish stings and keep him a little warmer in the 50F (10C) water.

After giving up the swim, he said his only plans at the moment were to "go straight to the pub, have a few beers and decide what the next steps are".

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