Great White Shark Attacks California Swimmer

A male swimmer was in critical condition after being attacked by a great white shark off California’s Manhattan Beach, CBS LA reports.

The attack stems from a seemingly strange set of circumstances. Los Angeles County Fire spokesman Rick Flores told reporters that the attack took place after a fisherman on the Manhattan Beach pier hooked a shark, and spent 30 minutes attempting to reel it in before cutting his line, agitating the predator. The victim was one of a group of long-distance swimmers who were about 300 yards off the beach when he was attacked, according to Yahoo News.

The great white bit the victim in his upper right side, according to Flores. Following the attack, a surfer was able to put the victim on his board and bring him to the beach. The attack took place at around 9:20 Saturday morning (July 5th), and as of Saturday afternoon, the victim’s condition had been upgraded to stable, authorities reported.

Lifeguards estimated the shark to be 7 feet long. However, LA county sheriffs, who viewed the great white from a helicopter, reported that the creature was at least 10 feet in length. Following the attack, a two-mile-long stretch of beach was closed while LA county sheriffs worked to coax the great white into deeper water and away from swimmers. After 20 minutes, the shark disappeared from their view.

Despite public perception, Great White Shark attacks are exceedingly rare. As The Inquisitr has previously reported, just 106 unprovoked white shark attacks have been recorded in United States waters since 1916. Of those, only 13 attacks proved fatal. Authorities believe that the great white that attacked the unnamed swimmer is the same one that was hooked by the fisherman, which was released only 40 minutes before the attack happened.

The population of great white sharks has been “surging” in recent years after decades in which the species saw its number decline. A recent study cited conservation efforts, coupled with the ready availability of prey animals in the form of seals, as factors in the great white shark’s comeback.

[Image via CBS LA]