MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. (AP) – A 7-foot-long great white shark bit a man swimming off Southern California’s Manhattan Beach on Saturday, officials said.
Rick Flores, a Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman, said the man was bitten on the upper right side about 9:30 a.m., suffering puncture wounds described as moderate injuries. He was taken to a hospital conscious and breathing on his own, Flores said.
The attack started when a person fishing off the Manhattan Beach Pier hooked the shark and spent over 30 minutes trying to reel it in, which, Flores said, made the shark grow agitated and take out more and more fishing line.
The survivor, Steve Robles spoke with KNBC reporters and said, “I saw that shark just eyeball to eyeball just like you and I exactly the same distance and it came in and bit me.”
The victim was in a group of long-distance swimmers about 300 yards off the beach swimming past the pier, where Flores said the shark bit the man.
The fisherman cut the line, and a surfer put the injured swimmer on his board, taking the victim ashore with the help of Los Angeles County lifeguards. Paramedics began treating the man.
The victim’s identity was not released, but Flores described him as a middle-aged man.
The shark remained in the area for the next 20 minutes and then disappeared into the murky water, Flores said.
The beaches remained open, but a mile-long stretch was temporarily off-limits to swimmers, Flores said. Lifeguards patrolled in boats to make sure the water was clear, he said.