Surfer Recounts Rescue of ‘Screaming’ Shark Attack Victim off California Coast

by Samantha Whidden

On Sunday (October 3rd), a surfer was bitten by a shark off Salmon Creek Beach. The beach is north of Bodega Bay in Sonoma Country, California. Witnessed of the event are now sharing details about the incident. 

The Press Democrat reported a nearby surfer stated the victim was paddling on his board. That’s when the shark swam up from below. The shark approached the victim from his side. It then clamped down on the back of his upper leg and the bottom of his board. 

Luckily, fellow surfers came to the victim’s aid and got him to shore. They then laid the man on a longboard and carried him up the stairs to the parking lot. One bystander was able to tie a tourniquet around the shark bite to help stop the bleeding. 

When health officials arrived, the shark attack victim was treated in an ambulance. He was then transported to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital by helicopter. Officials reported that the man was conscious while paramedics evaluated him. 

Sargent Tim Murphy, a Sonoma Coast State Park supervising lifeguard, revealed to the media outlet that sharks are more prevalent off of the Sonoma Coast in late summer and fall due to migration. “We know they’re out there. We just co-exist with them.”

The beaches are staying open. But California Department of Parks and Recreation officials have stated that swimming, surfing, kayaking, and paddling in the water are not allowed through Tuesday. 

Surfer Near San Franciso Also Suffered From a Shark Attack Injury Earlier this Summer

The latest shark attack happened just a few months after a surfer was hospitalized after suffering an intense Great White shark bite. The attack happened off of Gray Whale Cove State Beach, just south of San Francisco. As previously reported, a fisherman helped the 35-year-old surfer, who was able to swim to shore with the shark bite on his right leg. 

Thomas Masotta, a fisherman who helped the shark attack victim, said he had been fishing for about 15 minutes when he heard the surfer just hollering for him. “And I looked over at him, he was waving at me and he just collapsed down to the ground.”

Masotta then recalled telling the surfer that help might be on its way and they needed to take care of the shark bite. “He was pretty alert. In fact, he was the one that said, ‘Do you have anything that I can use to tie around my leg?’”

Masotta was able to use some of his fishing gear to create a makeshift tourniquet for the surfer’s injury. The surfer luckily recovered from the shark attack. 

So far this year, there have been 39 shark attack bites in the U.S. According to Tracking Sharks, 26 of those attacks were in Florida while 5 were in Hawaii and 3 in California. One of the attacks was provoked and zero have been fatal.