Shark attacks on humans have been considered rare by experts in the field.
However, a recent incident off California adds to the slew of related attack cases across the United States in recent years.
Many of these attacks were unprovoked.
On California’s central coast, a shark attacked a swimmer in the Pacific Ocean off Lovers Point Beach in the coastal town of Pacific Grove, Monterey County, around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 22 .
The victim was reportedly injured in the stomach, arm and leg.
Area surfers and paddleboarders quickly entered the waters to rescue the swimmer and brought him back to shore, after watching him struggle with an apparent shark attack for several seconds or minutes.
The man survived the ordeal as emergency personnel responded at around 10.39am local time and took him to nearby Natividad Hospital.
The survivor’s current condition remains unknown at the time of writing.
Initial assessment of the incident showed he could recover from the recent attack.
California shark attack
(Photo: Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
A local resident by the name of Fernando Beltran was taking a break when he saw a splash in the water that he thought was caused by two swimmers.
Fernando thought people were involved in so-called scavenging activity on the waters until he noticed a dorsal fin lurking on the surface, according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
The incident was actually a struggle between the swimmer and the unidentified shark.
The witness reportedly said the individual went underwater for about 10-15 seconds before resurfacing and began calling for help.
The shark species in question has yet to be determined based on the latest reports.
Local authorities sent a drone to search for the marine animal, but to no avail.
Authorities have closed Lovers Point Beach and Sea Palm until Saturday June 25. Following the incident, the aerial search for the shark culprit is still ongoing and close monitoring for other shark sightings continues, according to ABC 30.
Read also : Frequency of shark attacks linked to moon phases reveals new study
Last year, the United States had the highest record for unprovoked shark bites, with several dozen reported, confirmed and unconfirmed cases.
Previous research has suggested that such animal attacks were caused by mistaken human identity, which could be perceived as food.
Other theories include links to the phases of the moon and climate change.
In 2021, there were a total of 137 suspected shark-human interactions worldwide.
The suspected shark attacks were counted or classified to include 73 unprovoked bites, 39 provoked bites and four boat bites, according to the Florida Museum’s 2021 International Shark Attack File (ISAF).
Additionally, there were 14 unconfirmed cases, one unattributed case, five doubtful cases and one incident related to a possible shark scavenger.
However, anecdotal evidence and several documented incidents show most finger pointing at great white sharks and bull sharks as being responsible for most shark attacks.
The Florida Museum clarified that unprovoked bites are incidents when a shark bite or shark attack on a living human occurs in the shark’s natural habitat, without any international provocation of the shark.
Related article: Swimmer drowns after fatal shark attack in Sydney
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