A man in his 50s surfing at Sand Spit Beach survived a great white shark attack Sunday, state officials said.
The main sustained minor injuries and was able to paddle himself to shore, Supervising State Park Ranger Robert Colligan said. The attack took place mid-morning around 11:30 a.m. at Sand Spit Beach in Montana De Oro State Park just west of San Luis Obispo, ABC News reported.
The man – who was surfing with a friend – was among several other surfers in the water, Colligan said.
“From what eyewitnesses said, the shark came up from underneath and hit him,” said Colligan, adding that witnesses described the shark as being 8 to 10 feet long.
The unidentified man who lives in the San Luis Obispo area was bitten by the juvenile great white shark on his right hip. A medic who happened to be visiting the beach on his day off treated the injury until more help came, Colligan said. The man was flown to a local hospital for treatment.
Sand Spit Beach remained open, however signs will be posted for three days warning the public of the great white shark attack, Colligan said. He added that if there is another shark sighting, the signs will remain up an additional three days.
Sharks are native to the Central California Coast area, and Colligan said that they are spotted several times a year. He added that attacks like this are rare occurrences. A woman swimming with seals was killed by a shark in 2003 about 10 miles south of the Sunday attack, Colligan said.