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A shark attack. It's one of the known hazards of surfing -- as Mick Fanning's encounter showed -- but that doesn't make it less scary when it happens.

Just ask Elinor Dempsey, who was surfing off the coast of Morro Bay, California, Saturday morning when -- according to The Tribune, a newspaper based in nearby San Luis Obispo -- she ran into a sizable creature in the water.

"First I thought it was a dolphin and I thought, 'What the hell is he doing?'" she told the paper. "And he kind of landed on my board. Then I realized he had taken a chunk. And I was like, 'That's not what dolphins do.'"

Courtesy The Tribune/SanLuisObispo.com

That most certainly isn't what dolphins do. Luckily that's all the shark got, and Dempsey was able to swim away unharmed. Shaken, but unharmed.

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Dempsey estimated the shark to be 7 to 8 feet long -- not a giant, but still nothing you'd want to remotely mess with. According to The Tribune, State Parks and Morro Bay Harbor Patrol posted 72-hour beach closure signs along a 7-mile stretch of coast.

So, a reminder: No matter how perfect a place seems -- and trust us, Morro Bay very much fits that description -- you've got to watch out when you're in the water.

H/T The Tribune and For The Win

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