Surfer “critical” after being “slowly attacked” by shark off California beach
A SURFER is in critical condition after being maimed by a shark off the coast of California.
The terrifying attack took place on Sunday morning when the victim named Eric was surfing with friends near the beach at Salmon Creek in Sonoma County.
Eric, who is in his 30s, was bitten in the thigh by the shark that slipped under his board, according to officials from the Bodega Bay Fire Protection District.
His friend Jared Davis described the heartbreaking incident to KPIX, saying the attack took place slowly as Eric called for help.
âI saw the dorsal fin of the shark, then I saw the caudal fin,â Davis recalls.
“They were going down into the water. It certainly wasn’t like a fast attack. It was nice and slow. Kind of like a dolphin pointing upwards.”
Davis, who was swimming about 15 meters, said Eric shouted “shark!” as he made his way to shore with a “red band” of blood rising through his wetsuit.
About 12 other surfers rushed to help Eric on the beach, where they administered first aid until paramedics arrived.
âThe first thing we did was use a surf leash to apply a tourniquet,â Davis told KGO. “We did it with two separate surf leashes, tied as tight as possible.”
Eric was then airlifted to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital in critical condition. He is expected to survive.
Paramedics Jonathan Bauer and Timothy Saluzzo praised the swift actions of the surfers who stepped in to help Eric.
âFrom the care he received before he arrived, I think it really helped save his leg,â Saluzzo said.
Bauer said Eric managed to fend off the shark by hitting it in the face.
Following the attack, Salmon Creek Beach was closed to visitors for two days.
Officials said it was not clear what type of shark maimed Eric, but great whites are known to inhabit the waters around Bodega Bay.
Another surfer, Katie Wilson, was bitten by a shark about 100 yards from the beach in North Salmon Creek in May 2019.
So far in 2021, 57 shark attacks have been reported in the United States, according to trackingsharks.com.
Just last week, a 15-year-old boy was bitten on his birthday while swimming off the coast of Florida.
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