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Surfer attacked by shark at Stinson Beach
Bay City News
Friday, May 31, 2002
©2002 Associated Press


Stinson Beach -- A 24-year-old surfer had to be airlifted to a local hospital today after being attacked by a shark off Stinson Beach near Bolinas Creek.

The victim, a local who is well known in the area, was pulled from his surfboard and fought with the shark during the attack, according to Marin County Sheriff's Sgt. Doug Pittman.

Stinson Beach Fire Chief Kenny Stevens said the attack occurred at approximately 2:15 p.m. just outside the breaking surf line at the mouth of the Bolinas Channel.

Several other surfers were also in the area and some of them reported seeing a 12- to 15-inch dorsal fin above the waterline at the time of the attack.

Pittman said it was not clear how much of the dorsal fin was visible and how much was below the water.

"It could have been the tip of the iceberg,'' he said.

Pittman did not know what type of shark it was.

The victim was brought to shore by other surfers and was treated by Marin County and Stinson Beach firefighters for bite wounds that stretched from the upper left leg to the mid-torso, Pittman said.

Rescuers were unsure whether the wounds were caused by one or multiple bites, but Pitman said the victim's injuries were "very severe.''

The man was airlifted to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, where he is now in surgery.

U.S. Park Service rangers have prohibited entrance into the water off Stinson Beach for the next five days, but the park and the beach itself remain open. Authorities are warning nearby residents and visitors to stay out of the water.

The last shark attack in the area was four years ago in August of 1998. In that attack 16-year-old Jonathan Kathrein of Terra Linda was seriously injured with multiple penetrating bite wounds to the hip and thigh while he was boogie boarding.

Pittman said past attacks at Stinson Beach have been isolated events, and not linked to one particularly vicious shark prowling that part of the shoreline.

©2002 Associated Press

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