Man attacked by shark during group swim on California beach

Beaches in a California town have been closed for swimming after a man was attacked by a shark just 100 yards from the shore.

The 46-year-old man, who has not been named, was taking part in a group swim with about a dozen swimmers along the coast of Del Mar at around 9am on Sunday morning, the City of Del Mar said in a statement.

Just 100 yards (300 feet) from a Beach Safety Center on the shore, a shark suddenly attacked, biting him multiple times on his torso, left arm and hand.

The man, who is a regular member of the ocean swimmers group, managed to reach the shore with help from his friends, CNN reported.

Lifeguards gave him medical attention on the beach before he was quickly taken by ambulance to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.

The city said that he had suffered “significant” but non-life-threatening injuries.

“He had obvious injuries from the incident that required surgery, mostly large lacerations,” Jon Edelbrock, community services director and chief lifeguard for the city, told CNN.

Edelbrock also told Fox5 that the victim was “stable”: “We’re very happy and feel fortunate that he’s doing well.”

Following the attack, Del Mar lifeguards closed the beach for swimming and surfing for one mile in both directions of the incident, roughly from 6th Street to North Beach, the city said.

The waters will stay closed until 9am on Tuesday.

The 46-year-old man was attacked by a shark on Sunday morning while swimming with a group off Del Mar (City of Del Mar)
The 46-year-old man was attacked by a shark on Sunday morning while swimming with a group off Del Mar (City of Del Mar)

Researchers from  California State University Long Beach’s Shark Lab have since visited the scene to take samples from the water and to analyse the man’s wetsuit to try to determine what type of shark it was.

Shark Lab Director Chris Lowe told CNN that it was most likely a juvenile white shark.

The researchers will try a new scientific tool to hopefully one day be able to determine if this particular shark can be detected in the area in the future.

“We hope to use it in the future to monitor and help lifeguards manage beaches,” Lowe said.

The attack comes after another swimmer was attacked in the waters off Del Mar in November 2022.

In that incident, the woman said she was bitten in her upper thigh and shaken “kind of like a dog” before the shark let her go, ABC7 reported.