Surfer is left in critical condition after being attacked by a shark off California beach
- Surfer, in his thirties, was bitten in the leg by the shark near Bodega Bay, California
- He was helped ashore, given first aid before being transported to a nearby hospital
- Officials said he was in a critical but stable condition after Sunday’s attack
A surfer has been left in critical condition after being attacked by a shark off a California beach.
The surfer, identified by friends as Eric, was bitten in the thigh around 9 a.m. Sunday while in the sea at Bodega Bay.
The man, in his 30s, was with a group of surfers at Salmon Creek Beach in Sonoma County when the shark bit him in the thigh, according to the Bodega Bay Fire Protection District.
His fellow surfers helped him get to shore and bystanders provided first aid until emergency services arrived and he was airlifted to hospital, KTVU-TV reported.
A surfer named Eric by friends has been left in critical condition after being attacked by a shark off a California beach. He was flown to the hospital where he is being treated
Friend Jared Davis told the outlet, “I saw the shark’s dorsal fin and then I saw the shark’s tail fin.
“They went into the water. It certainly wasn’t a quick attack. It was beautiful and slow. Kind of like a dolphin jumping up.’
Davis said Eric “screamed” for help during the attack and that he helped his friend paddle to shore where he fitted a turnstile with two separate surf lines.
‘I saw his leg. He looked like he had a red stripe on his wetsuit,” Davis said ABC.
A surfer, identified by friends as Eric (not pictured) has been left in critical condition after being attacked by a shark off a California beach
Paramedics said Davis’ intervention was crucial to saving Eric’s leg.
Timothy Saluzzo said: “Based on the care he received before arrival, I think it really helped save his leg.
“The top of the leg wasn’t that bad, but once we turned around and looked at the back, there was a pretty good tear.”
Saluzzo explained that Eric said he managed to touch the shark’s eye, although it was not clear whether he was trying to hit or grab the animal.
Authorities didn’t know what kind of shark it was, but said the beach would be closed for at least two days (stock image)
Authorities did not know what type of shark it was, but said the beach would be closed for at least two days.
A California Highway Patrol helicopter took the surfer to a hospital. His injuries are not considered life-threatening, the fire service said.
Shark attacks are rare off the California coast with fewer than 200 incidents since 1950, SFGate reported, citing the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.