Coast Guard helicopter crew from Air Station San Francisco FOB Mugu medevacs shark bite victim to saftey and transports him to Santa Barbara Airport where EMTs awaited. pic.twitter.com/zyDewiQWpU
— USCG Los Angeles (@USCGLosAngeles) December 22, 2019
At just after 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, a 37-year-old man was bitten by a shark while surfing off the coast of Santa Rosa Island. The island is part of the Channel Islands off the coast of California.
The U.S. Coast Guards received a call at 3:30 p.m. from a good Samaritan. Coast Guard Petty Officer Mark Barney told the Los Angeles Times that the person who called the attack in applied a tourniquet while he waited for rescue crews to arrive. A Coast Guard helicopter was dispatched from Air Station San Francisco FOB Mugu and the victim was taken to the Santa Barbara Airport, where EMTs were waiting for him. From there, he was taken to the hospital. He has been listed in stable condition.
A video shot by Jeremy Howard shows a rescue crew member landing on the boat to take the victim to the hospital.
According to reports, the victim was paddling out from a boat to surf when a great white estimated at 15-feet hit him from below. The shark apparently dragged the man underwater before releasing him. “It was a 15ft great white!” wrote a Twitter user who claimed to be the victim’s boat partner. “Snapped his board in half, gave him a love bite and dragged him partially underwater.”
“This was the best possible outcome to a truly terrifying situation,” Lt. Benjamin McIntyre-Coble, the Coast Guard command duty officer, said in a statement. “This individual was fortunate to be with a buddy who was able to communicate their position to the Coast Guard. We are all happy that he will be able to be with his family in time for the holidays.”