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San Onofre beach has been a popular surfing spot for decades. This is the first shark attack recorded there.

San Onofre beach has been a popular surfing spot for decades. This is the first shark attack recorded there. Photo: Surf-Shot.com


The Inertia

Late on Saturday afternoon, a 36-year-old woman was attacked by a shark at Church, a break just south of Lowers at San Onofre beach. “We can confirm it was a shark bite, but the extent of injuries is unknown at this time,” Camp Pendleton Sgt. Asia Sorenson told the LA Times. A crowdfunding campaign was set up to help her.

According to Travis Lara, a state park worker, the woman was wading in front of the Camp Pendleton campground when the attack occurred. She was wearing swim fins at the time and was with three friends, two of whom were on surfboards. Lara told the OC Register that the shark bit her on her glute and thigh.

According to a Gofundme campaign, the victim is 36-year-old Leeanne Leidle.

According to a Gofundme campaign, the victim is a 36-year-old named Leeanne. Photo: Gofundme.com

Thomas Williams, a 29-year-old EMT from San Clemente, was one of the witnesses on scene. “It was definitely to the point, her hamstring was gone,” he told the OC Register. “If she didn’t receive immediate care, it was life-threatening. All of the back of her leg was kind of missing.”

She was quickly pulled from the water and a leash was used as a tourniquet until she could be airlifted to Scripps Memorial Hospital. “Officials stormed the shore and made an urgent announcement to close the beach and for surfers to get to shore,” wrote Hannah Mullins for 10News.com. The beach has been closed until Monday morning.

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The attack comes just a few days after officials towed a dead whale out to sea in nearby Oceanside. Video surfaced of a great white gorging on the carcass.

San Onofre has been a popular surfing beach for decades. Despite an uptick in recent shark sightings, this is the first attack there. Last Memorial Day, further north, near Newport, a swimmer named Maria Korcsmaros was attacked in Corona del Mar. The 52-year-old triathlete was swimming 150 yards from the shore when a great white estimated to be about ten feet in length bit her on her chest and thigh.

Donate to the Gofundme campaign HERE.

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