An unidentified swimmer off the coast of California is in intensive care after he suffered serious injuries Wednesday when he was attacked by a shark in an incident caught on camera.
The swimmer, who is a regular at Lovers Point Beach, in the city of Pacific Grove, was about 150 yards from shore when the shark pounced.
“The adult male swimmer sustained significant injuries from the shark bite,” the Pacific Grove Police Department said in a statement.
Aimee Johns and Paul Bandy were paddleboarding near the scene and rushed to see what was happening.
“We could hear someone calling for ‘Help, help, help’ and then splashing the water,” Johns told TODAY.
“As soon as we got close to him, we could that he had severe lacerations on his arm and leg,” Bandy said.
Surfer Heath Braddock, who was working with kids nearby, also heard the swimmer shouting.
“So I grabbed a couple boards and took two boards out. As I approached, I saw kind of the pool of blood. It was probably the size of a table or a car,” Braddock said.
Video shows Johns, Bandy and Braddock getting to the swimmer and placing him on the board and hurrying to bring him back to shore.
“His leg was almost severed,” Johns said.
“Severely injured. All the way down to the bone,” Bandy said.
Bandy is a policeman and Johns is a nurse, which helped expedite the victim’s treatment. In addition to leg injuries, the man suffered injuries to his torso and his arm.
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“Paul was calling, ‘Tourniquet, tourniquet.’ So people knew on the shore already in advance to have things that they could use,” Johns said. “And so people jumped right in. There was a physician that was there, a nurse, myself and some other bystanders (who) really helped out a lot.”
The beach will remain closed until Saturday and authorities were unable to find the shark, despite efforts to track it down.
“In an abundance of caution, the Monterey Fire Department, with the assistance of the Seaside Fire Department, deployed a drone to conduct an aerial search of the area for the shark. At the time of this release, there have been no additional sightings,” the police said in its statement.
Shark attacks are not common at Lovers Point Beach. There has only been one other reported incident, which was a fatal encounter in 1952, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Wednesday’s attack also marked the 16th attack in Monterey County since 1950 and the 203rd in the state of California in the same time frame.
A surfer was also killed in an apparent shark attack in Morro Bay, California last December.Related: