Fear of shark attack forces California beach shutdown

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May 30, 2016

NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA — Fears of a shark attack forced the shutdown of miles of Southern California beach after a swimmer with large bite marks was pulled from the water, authorities said.

May 30, 2016

NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA — Fears of a shark attack forced the shutdown of miles of Southern California beach after a swimmer with large bite marks was pulled from the water, authorities said.

Lifeguards shut down the beach on Sunday after a swimmer was pulled injured from the water with bite marks in a possible shark attack, authorities said.(Cindy Yamanaka/The Orange County Register via AP)

The woman, swimming in a wetsuit, was spotted in distress by a lifeguard boat at Corona Del Mar State Beach about 4 p.m. Sunday, city of Newport Beach spokeswoman Tara Finnigan said. The woman had large bite marks on her upper torso and shoulder and was bleeding heavily.

Finnigan said the woman was conscious and breathing when she was taken the hospital but did not know any more about her condition.

Lifeguards cleared the water from the state beach to the Newport Pier, a stretch of over two miles. It will be shut down at least until morning while authorities with help from a police helicopter look for a shark or other animal that attacked the woman.

No shark was spotted during the initial search, authorities said.

The woman was swimming about 100 yards offshore, just outside the buoys marking a protected swimming area, near the area where boats can travel.

"We have a lot of triathletes and long-distance swimmers who use this beach for training," lifeguard Battalion Chief Rob Williams told KTTV-TV.

The lifeguards who saw the woman witnessed the last part of the attack and quickly ruled out any kind of boating or watercraft accident, Williams said.

There have been no recent reports of sharks in the area, he said.

The beach was busy at the time, but not as crowded as it often is on the Memorial Day weekend Sunday, Williams said.


Courtesy: AP