Shark bites man during group swim, closing strech of California beach

SAN DIEGO — The tony coastal city of Del Mar on Sunday shut down nearly its entire stretch of beaches after a shark attacked a man participating in a group swim, officials said.

The 46-year-old man was with about a dozen other swimmers who meet regularly to train in the cool waters north of San Diego when the shark attacked about 9 a.m., biting an arm, a hand and his torso, the city of Del Mar said in a statement.

He was rushed to a hospital in San Diego with “injuries that are significant but not believed to be life-threatening,” the city said.

A hospital spokesperson said it couldn’t provide the man’s exact condition.

A 46-year-old man was sent to the hospital after being bitten by a shark in Del Mar around 9 a.m. on Sunday, prompting Del Mar lifeguards to close beaches for swimming and surfing in the area.City of Del Mar

The attack happened about 100 yards from Del Mar’s relatively new lifeguard headquarters on 17th Street, the city said. Lifeguards on duty closed a stretch of Del Mar beach to swimmers and surfers one mile north and south of the facility until 9 a.m. Monday, the city said.City lifeguards have jurisdiction along 2.5 miles of coastline.

Torrey Pines State Beach south of Del Mar remained open, according to its website and phone line. The nearest San Diego city beach, Blacks Beach, remote but popular with surfers, is more than 5 miles from the attack and remained open, a city lifeguard official said.

The incident happened amid relatively normal conditions for early June, including 3-foot waves and a water temperature, 64 degrees, still worthy of a wetsuit, according to National Data Buoy Center information.

The attack in seasonably cool and cloudy “June gloom” weather came as coastal San Diego County prepares for an annual onslaught of tourists, many part of a traditional exodus from Arizona and its infernal summer heat.

Research published in April in the journal Frontiers of Marine Science found that juvenile white sharks tended to spend time closer to shore in spring and summer and may base their movements on “micro-scale” changes to their habitat, including water temperature.

A shark attack in Del Mar on Sunday prompted beach closures in the area.
A shark attack in Del Mar on Sunday prompted beach closures in the area.NBC San Diego

It wasn’t immediately clear what kind of shark was involved in Sunday morning’s attack.The Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File said there were two unprovoked shark attacks in California last year, one fatal.

The number of attacks trailed by far the figure in Florida, 16, which represented 44% of such unprovoked incidents in the country last year and roughly a quarter of those worldwide, according to the file.

With 20 unprovoked attacks recorded since 1926, San Diego County, which includes Del Mar, led California counties for such incidents, the file’s data shows.

The predominant activity for those involved in unprovoked attacks is board sports, including surfing and bodyboarding, according to the file.

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