A Northern California surfer was seriously injured after a great white shark attacked him in the leg at Gray Whale Cove State Beach, just south of San Francisco, on Wednesday, June 22, resulting in serious injuries to his body. stomach and legs.
The incident took place around 10:35 a.m. when a six-to-eight-foot great white shark headed toward the 39-year-old man to attack him, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office according to KSBW. Onlookers said they saw the man swim to shore and fall onto the beach as blood poured from his leg. Following the Lovers Point Beach attack, the surfer was taken to Natividad Hospital.
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According to the Monterey Herald, a Salinas resident named Fernando Beltran witnessed the incident and thought it was two swimmers struggling until he saw the shark. He said: “I realized when I saw the dorsal fin. I was in shock for a minute, thinking, ‘Oh that can’t be a shark.’ I thought it was two guys wrestling. Beltran recounted the scene as he saw the swimmer dive underwater for about 10-15 seconds and when the swimmer resurfaced he began calling for help. The witness said he dialed 911 and a group of four or five paddleboarders rushed to help the surfer and pulled him out of the water. The police applauded those who intervened to save the surfer. They said in a press release reported by LA Times: “We want to express our gratitude and appreciation to the good Samaritans who took immediate action and took personal risk to help the swimmer. Our prayers and thoughts go out to the swimmer. and his family.”
The Monterey Fire Department conducted a drone search to track down the shark, but there were no sightings, police said. Authorities will continue to monitor the area while the beaches will remain closed and will open on Saturday June 25, as a precaution.
Pacific Grove Police are now putting up signs on Lover’s Point Beach. Due to a shark attack this morning, the beach will be closed for 48 hours per state park protocol. Working to find out if other beaches in the area will also be closed @KION546 pic.twitter.com/j6dftmOH6b
— Calista Silva (@SilvaPhotog) June 22, 2022
Friends of the victim identified the surfer as Steve Bruemmer to KSBW. The man belongs to a local swimming club which regularly swims off Lovers Point. His condition has not been disclosed.
The shark attack continues
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife Shark mentions on its website that there have been 202 shark incidents in California involving all shark species, at least 179 of which were white sharks, since 1959. Of these incidents, 15 were fatal. “It is important to note that while human use of beaches and ocean activities have increased dramatically due to population growth and the greater popularity of surfing, swimming and scuba diving, incidents with sharks have not increased proportionately. This is even more evident when looking at incidents where a person has been injured,” the ministry said.