A surfer survived a great white shark attack off California’s central coast on Sunday, according to State Parks Police, reaching shore under his own power despite his injuries.
The man, who is in his 50s, was one of several people in the water at Sand Spit Beach in Montana De Oro State Park, just west of San Luis Obispo, around 11:30 a.m., according to ABC News. Sustaining minor injuries when the white shark struck him from below, he was able to paddle himself to shore, according to Supervising State Park Ranger Robert Colligan.
“From what eyewitnesses said, the shark came up from underneath and hit him,” Colligan noted.
The victim, who lives in the San Luis Obispo area and was surfing with a friend, was bitten on his right hip. He was treated by a medic who happened to be visiting the beach before being transported by helicopter to a local hospital. The injuries inflicted by the shark were not considered life threatening.
Responders from multiple agencies responded to a person bit by a shark at the Montana de Oro’s Sand Spit. pic.twitter.com/2FXp5xMchq
— CAL FIRE SLO (@CALFIRE_SLO) December 28, 2014
Witnesses described the white shark as between eight to 10 feet in length, according to KSBY News, identifying it as a juvenile. Though great whites are common in the area and are spotted multiple times during the course of the year, attacks like this are rare, Colligan said.
Despite the incident, the beach remained open. Signs will be posted warning the public of the shark’s presence, remaining in place for three days. If the great white is spotted again in that time period, Colligan pointed out that they will remain for a further three days.
— Woody (@WoodySchoh) December 28, 2014
Earlier this month, a great white shark was repeatedly detected by an early warning system off Warnbro Beach in Australia. After the shark remained in the area for an extended period of time, officials issued a catch and kill order for the great white, prompting vigorous criticism from shark researchers as the Inquisitr previously reported. Though capture gear was deployed for several days, the white shark was able to evade the efforts of Fisheries officials, escaping into the open ocean.
This is the 2m Tiger Shark which Fisheries caught on the drum lines today while trying to kill a Great White. pic.twitter.com/SwJGC2z3G0
— NoWASharkCull (@NoWASharkCull) December 20, 2014
In 2003, a woman was killed by a shark 10 miles south of Sand Spit Beach while swimming with seals, a major prey animal for great whites.
[Image: Mike Hemus/ Calypso Star Charter via Twitter]