Shark bites swimmer off Northern California beach

West

PACIFICA, Calif. (AP) — A great white shark bit a man in the leg as he swam off a Northern California beach on Saturday morning, authorities said.

The 35-year-old man’s injury was not life threatening and he was able to swim to shore at Grey Whale Cove State Beach, about 18 miles south of San Francisco, where he received medical aid, San Mateo County Sheriff’s Lt. Eamonn Allen said.

“He sounds pretty tough. He was able to walk up the beach with a shark bite to his leg,” said Allen.

The man said he believed he was bitten by a 6- to 8-foot-long great white shark, Allen said.

Emergency crews responded quickly and he suffered severe leg injuries with about ten bites to the back of his leg.

For those watching the moment, it was surreal.

“It’s crazy because you always watch movies and hear about these kinds of stories but to actually be in an area where it actually happened is kind of a little mind-boggling,” one witness said.

State park officials prohibited water activities off the beach, as well as off nearby Montara State Beach, for the next 48 hours and will post signs to advise beachgoers of the closure, said California State Parks spokesman Gabe McKenna.

Sharks have recently been seen in the area of the gray whale cove state beach in San Mateo, California, 20 miles south of San Francisco.

Allen says shark attacks aren’t common. There have only been nine attacks in San Mateo county since 1926.

“These shark bites are exceedingly rare. I can’t remember the last time we had one in our jurisdiction,” Allen said.

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