Authorities said a man was taken to the hospital
on Saturday after being bitten by a juvenile great white shark
's northern coast.
The man was in the water
off Grey Whale
Cove State Beach, just south of San Francisco
, when his right leg was bitten around 9:15 a.m., according to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office. The shark was described as 6 to 8 feet long.
The man, who was described as being in his 30s, was able to swim alone to shore, where medical assistance was summoned.
“The surfer got a look at the shark, so he knew it was a young great white,” Brian Ham, a battalion chief with the California Department of Forestry and Fire
Protection, told Bay Area news
The single-bite injury
caused the man to lose approximately a pint of blood, according to Ham.
Thomas Masotta, who was fishing
on the beach at the time of the attack
, said he was among the first to assist the man after hearing him yell for help.
“I heard a guy, kind of over this shoulder, just holler for me,” he told local NBC
station KNTV, “and he was waving me, and he just collapsed down to the ground.”
Masotta claimed that he used his fishing gear to create a tourniquet for the man's leg.
“He was pretty alert, and he was the one who said, ‘Do you have anything I can tie around my leg?’” Masotta said.
According to KGO-TV, the man was taken to a local trauma center in critical condition and later released.
According to the University
's International Shark Attack File (ISAF), shark attacks are extremely rare and have actually been decreasing in recent years.
According to ISAF records, there were only 57 unprovoked bites recorded globally in 2020, compared to 65 bites in 2019 and 66 in 2018.
Despite this decrease, shark bites claimed the lives of ten people
in 2020, making it the deadliest year since 2013, which also claimed ten lives. This is in contrast to the usual four deaths per year.
The most common type of shark attack is what the ISAF refers to as a "hit and run," in which a shark delivers a single bite or slash wound and then flees, most likely because the human was misidentified as their normal prey, such as a seal.