Swimmer attacked by great white shark recounts terrifying experience

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. — A long-distance swimmer was attacked by a great white shark near the pier in Manhattan Beach, California, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.

A fisherman on the pier had hooked the 7-foot shark Saturday and was trying to reel in the struggling fish when the victim swam by, LAFD spokesman Rick Flores said. “It was agitated and when the swimmer got close, it bit him,” Flores told CNN.Swimmer attacked by great white shark recounts terrifying experience

The victim was part of a group of swimmers training in the waters near the pier. They did not see the shark until it was too late.

The victim was bit in the torso, sustaining a wound Flores described as “moderate.”

“The shark bit the swimmer and then released,” he said.

The 40-year-old man is still in the hospital, Flores said Saturday evening.

Bystanders captured the aftermath of the attack on cell phone video. CNN affiliate KTLA posted the video on its website. It shows a group of swimmers frantically trying to reach shore with the victim screaming loudly from the water and people on the pier urging him to hurry, yelling that the shark was still close by.

All of the swimmers in the water made it to shore safely.

The victim was treated by paramedics at the scene, then transported to a local hospital, according to LAFD’s Twitter feed. “The male shark bit victim is reported to be in stable condition,” a tweet from the lifeguard division said.

The fisherman had struggled to reel in the great white for up to 40 minutes before the attack happened. Then he cut the line and the shark swam away, Flores said.

Police closed down the Manhattan Beach Pier after the incident. It will remain closed until Tuesday, according to a press release.

Shark attacks are still pretty rare, but have increased at a steady rate since 1900, “with each decade having more attacks then the previous,” according to statistics from the International Shark Attack File based in Gainesville, Florida.

ISAF says on its website that in 2013 there were 72 unprovoked shark attacks on humans, actually the lowest number of global attacks since 2009, when 67 attacks occurred.

The research organization emphasized on its website that an increasing number of shark attacks doesn’t mean the rate of attacks is increasing. ISAF research shows people are spending more time at sea, which increases the interactions between humans and sharks.

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4 comments

  • Jennifer

    In spite of the Serious increase in “Reported” shark attacks in the last 5+ years, This article FINALLY explains ALL and leads the public to believe that the ONLY reason for this increase is due to…”More people in the water” uhhh, Excuse Me??? Will the REAL U.S. Marine Biologists PLEASE Help us Here?????:):)

  • Jennifer

    People(At Least in the U.S.) are/have been running from the shark-infested shallows of N.C. alone in Hoards and Groves!!!! for YEARS Now!!! {God Help the Ignorant Tourists!!!) But What Can I Say?? Some State Officials Always put seafood BEFORE Humans..$$$!!)

  • Jennifer

    Dear Governor McCrory..It seems that the time for Preliminary installation of Feasible Shark Nets in our Beautiful state’s Coastline is a Few years Overdue!!! Start NOW, then boast ALL advertising rights for our Beautiful, yet severely indebted State, For the Beginning of the 2015 Summer Beach season!!! You ARE aware of the Treasure Cove of a Coastline that Totally represents our State, correct???

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