Many surfers go their entire lives without being bitten by a shark. However, on average, 60 people are bitten by sharks a year in unprovoked attacks.
One surfer was heading out into the waves by Bodega Bay in Sonoma County when a shark bit him. Another surfer Jared Davis said to KGO, ” I saw the tail fin of a shark. They were kind of going down into the water.”
The man in his 30s who was bitten happened to be one of Davis’ friends. Davis said that the man was bitten on the thigh and was yelling “shark.”
A couple of other surfers came over to help the man pushing him onto North Salmon Creek Beach on a longboard. While doing so, they made a makeshift tourniquet to stem the bleeding, according to The Press Democrat.
Davis said, “We did that with two separate surf leashes- tied them as tight as we could.” According to Bodega Volunteer Fire Department paramedics Jonathon Bauer and Timothy Saluzzo, the tourniquet likely saved the man’s leg.
Tangling With A Shark
The man told the paramedics that he saw a large shark and that he fought with it. According to officers, he was flown in a California Highway Patrol helicopter to a hospital in Santa Rosa.
“He was conscious and alert when he left the scene but obviously had a significant wound to his leg. He’s expected to survive.”Josh Perucchi
So far, authorities are unsure what type of shark went after the man and subsequently closed the beaches within two miles of the attack site. Local surf shop owner Sarah Dougherty said to The Press Democrat, “I’m sure some people will definitely be a little more cautious, and others will be like, ‘Oh, they’re always out there.'”
According to California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife, 198 shark incidents have happened since 1950. The 14 people who have died were all killed by great whites.