Shark attack off California coast leaves 46-year-man hospitalized, beaches closed

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Lifeguards in Del Mar, California, which is north of San Diego, have closed beaches to swimming and surfing after a Sunday morning shark attack.

A 46-year-old man was bitten by a shark on his torso, left arm and hand around 9 a.m., Del Mar authorities said in a press release. He was taken to a hospital in La Jolla with significant injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening. 

The attack happened about 100 yards offshore from the Beach Safety Center at 17th Street, officials said. The man was in a group of “about a dozen ocean swimmers who meet regularly to train in Del Mar.”

“My understanding is that the patient is stable, he was in the OR last I heard, so we’re very happy and feel fortunate that he’s doing well,” Del Mar Lifeguard Chief Jon Edelbrock told FOX 5 San Diego. 


Del Mar beach with train

An Amtrak Pacific Surfliner train passes in front of pedestrians walking along a beach in Del Mar, California, U.S., on Thursday, May 13, 2021. (Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The beach closures were done in accordance with protocols developed by California Marine Safety Chiefs Association and the Shark Lab at California State University Long Beach, which means lifeguards posted signs and closed Del Mar beaches for swimming and surfing one mile in both directions from the incident. 

The closure area is roughly from 6th Street to North Beach and neighboring jurisdictions have been notified. 


Beach closure sign

The Del Mar beach closures are in effect until Tuesday morning, city officials said.  (City of Del Mar)

The water closure is expected to be lifted at 9 a.m. Tuesday. 

Last week, up the shore towards Los Angeles in Orange County, ocean access was closed to the public in San Clemente due to a shark sighting and close encounter involving a surfer, FOX 11 reported.

Del Mar beach sunset

People watch the first sunset of the New Year on a beach in Del Mar, California, U.S., on Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. (Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Images)


“When that thing hit me from below, I knew right away that it was a shark. There’s people out there who have been injured by sharks. And I’m so lucky that it only got my board,” Evan Garcia told the local TV station. 

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