California Surfer Gets Bitten by Great White Shark Then Swims Himself to Safety
The unidentified victim was surfing off the Gray Whale Cove State Beach on Saturday around 9:15 a.m. when he encountered the shark that officials estimate was between 6 and 8 feet long.
A 35-year-old California man surfing off the San Mateo coast miraculously made his way back to shore after a great white shark bit into his right leg. The injured man was able to swim back to shore and got immediate medical care from a nearby fisherman, officials said.
"I looked at the guy and said, 'Help might be on its way, but let's get you taken care of,'" fisherman Thomas Masotta told NBC Bay Area KNTV News , and then called 911 for help.
Massota described the bite victim as “pretty alert” and said he made a tourniquet with his fishing equipment to help minimize the man’s bleeding. He said the idea to do that came from the victim himself.
He then told KNTV that he was impressed that even with such a bad shark bite and a loss of a lot of blood the man was still coherent. He said he even asked him, "'Do you have anything that I can use to tie around my leg?'”
The unidentified victim was surfing off the Gray Whale Cove State Beach on Saturday around 9:15 a.m. when he encountered the shark that officials estimate was between 6 and 8 feet long, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.
San Mateo Fire Department Battalion Chief Brian Ham told CBS local affiliate KPIX News that the man suffered 10 lacerations to the back of his right thigh but was able to swim back to shore with help from bystanders.
Gray Whale State Beach was closed for the rest of Saturday, according to the sheriff’s office.
Ham said the incident is a reminder that “sharks are in the ocean." He stressed, “All I have to suggest is to practice safety for individuals to know their limitations,” KNTV reported.
David Ebert, program director for the Pacific Shark Research Center, told KNTV said the shark likely mistook the man for a seal, adding that sharks are not in the water searching for humans to eat.
“[Humans] are not on the menu, “ Ebert said. “We occasionally have shark incidents like we did today, but it's generally very rare.”
The courageous man was taken to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and has since been released, People reported.
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