Swimmer injured in shark attack at California beach
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — A shark attacked a woman wading in the ocean with friends, tearing away part of her upper thigh in the ocean off a popular Southern California beach, authorities and witnesses said Sunday.
The attack occurred Saturday near San Onofre State Beach in northern San Diego County. “All of the back of her leg was kind of missing,’’ Thomas Williams, one of several witnesses who pulled the woman ashore, told the Orange County Register. “If she didn’t receive immediate care, it was lifethreatening.’’
Williams said the woman was conscious and talking while onlookers used a rubber surfboard leash as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding.
The beach is adjacent to the Camp Pendleton Marine Base. Marine Sgt. Asia Sorenson said the victim — a civilian — was airlifted to a hospital in unknown condition.
The injury was likely caused by a great white or a seven-gill shark, said Chris Lowe, director of the Shark Lab at California State University, Long Beach. Several sharks have been sighted in the area recently.