Surfer gets attacked by great white shark near San Francisco

A surfer was attacked by a great white shark Saturday at the Gray Whale Cove State Beach close to San Francisco.  

The 35-year-old man was able to make it back to shore, where "advanced life support measures" were applied, according to the Santa Cruz County Fire Department.  

He was transported to a local hospital, where he has since been released, according to ABC7, which cited officials.  

The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office said the shark was an estimated 6 to 8 feet long. 

“He was surfing. So, he was relatively close to the shore and he was out surfing and a great white just took one bite out of him and released him,” said Brian Ham, Cal Fire's battalion chief, to NBC Bay Area.

“It was only one bite and there were about 10 lacerations to the back of the right thigh,” Ham told CBS5.

Great white shark. (Photo: Ryan Pierse, Getty Images)

“Usually [the sharks are] within the surf zone, so they’re within 100 feet to 200 feet of the actual beach. It’s shallow but a shark can attack very close to the beach," Ham said. 

Thomas Masotta told NBC Bay Area that he was fishing when he heard a cry for help. He used some of his fishing equipment to fasten a tourniquet on the victim's leg until medical attention came.

While sharks don't usually attack humans, marine ecologists at Montana State University found that there were an increased amount of great whites in northern California following a seven-year study (2011-18) released last month.

"A healthy population of white sharks means there are healthy populations of the sea lions and elephant seals they eat," said Paul Kanive, a marine ecologist with Montana State University and lead author of the study. "And that means that the lower levels on the food chain, like fish, are healthy enough to support the marine mammals."

As of January 2021, there were eight total shark attacks in California since 2020, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. 

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