A 27-year-old California man was bit several times in yet another shark attack while he was surfing the waters off Marina State Beach, in what seems like a busy season for sightings in the Pacific Ocean.
About 150 yards from shore, Eric Tarantino was on his surfboard when the shark came out of nowhere, striking him in the arm and neck. Injured and bleeding, he was able to paddle to shore and out of harm’s way.
A friend and fellow surfer, Brandon McKibben, was about ten yards from the attack and somehow managed to get away, as well. I spoke with him about what he witnessed.
He said he didn’t know what was happening, that he just heard Eric yelling, “Shark!”
“I looked over at that point and I saw quite a bit of blood come out of his arm and going into the water around him,” McKibben said.
After the two of them swam to shore, nearby surfers used towels as tourniquets to stop the bleeding in Eric’s arm and neck. Brandon told me that while Eric was still lucid and conscious, he looked pale and was going into shock.
Paramedics arrived and airlifted Eric to a nearby hospital for what the park ranger said appeared to be non-life threatening injuries. According to local reports, Eric is expected to make a full recovery from his injuries.
Eric’s surfboard was placed in the back of a state park ranger’s patrol car, where stunned fellow surfers stopped to examine the board’s new marks: gashes and a missing 19-inch chunk.
Brandon told me that another friend was attacked about four years ago, near the same spot. And despite this string of shark activity , he still plans on going back in the water.
It’s been a bad year for sharks, with sighting up and down the west coast putting beachgoers on edge.
In Oregon, one man was thrown from his board after a shark took a huge bite.
Last week, another man, George Thomas Wainwright was killed by a ten-foot great white in Australia.
ABC News’ Erin McLaughlin contributed to this report.