Surfer Hospitalized Following Shark Bite at California Beach

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo PETER PARKS/AFP via Getty Images)

A 31-year-old surfer was seriously injured at Centerville Beach, California on Sunday (October 2nd) when he was attacked by a shark

According to the Ferndale Volunteer Fire Department, The incident occurred at 3:30 p.m. local time. Originally debating about which type of bite it was, the unit at the scene confirmed that the bite was from a shark. The surfer was transported by city ambulance to the hospital to be treated for his injuries. There are no further details about what kind of shark bit the surfer.

While speaking about the incident, the fire department shared, “To our recollection of our membership, we have not had an incident like this. This is a reminder that there are many hazards to be aware of when you are at the beach.”

The latest shark bite reporting comes just weeks after a Topeka pediatric nurse, Christina Barker, aided a swimmer that survived another attack. WIBW reported in early September. Barker was on an educational mission trip with a youth group when the incident occurred. 

“We were out there doing a sustainability [mission],” she explained. “Protecting the environment, cleaning the ocean. We did a lot of beach clean-ups.”

Barker then shared that the group had gone to the beach to work with a surf pro, who had been surfing in Monterey, California for decades. “He had allowed [the youth group members] to use his surfboards and they were kind of padding parallel to the show when the attack happened.”

Barker further recalled one of her fellow sponsors seeing what he originally thought was a dolphin. Turns out, it was a shark. Within a matter of seconds, they heard someone yelling from the water. “We thought [the swimmer] was drowning or struggling to swim is what it looked like from where we were.” 

Pediatric Nurse Quickly Springs Into Action to Help Swimmer After Shark Attack 

Upon hearing the screaming, the surfing instructor and Barker quickly ran to help the swimmer. “I’ve been a part of different accidents with bleeding and differed things like that and CPR,” Barker said. “But this was by far very, very different. It was definitely a bite and we had to stop the bleeding.”

After getting the swimmer out of the water, Barker instructed a fellow group spouse to apply pressure on the wound, which was on the swimmer’s abdomen. They ended up using towels and t-shirts as tourniquets on other parts of the wound, which stretched from the lower left through the midsection and arm. 

Luckily for the swimmer, the quick thinking from Barker and the rest of the group helped save his life. The media outlet further reported that the DNA and bite radius analysis of his wound showed it was a 17-foot great white shark that bit him.