Part of California beach closed after shark bites man during group swim

SAN DIEGO — The coastal city of Del Mar closed almost all of its beaches Sunday after a shark attacked a man participating in a group swim, officials said.

The 46-year-old was with a dozen other swimmers who regularly meet to train in the cool waters north of San Diego when the shark attacked around 9 a.m., biting an arm, a hand and his torso, the city of Del Mar. said in a statement.

He was rushed to a San Diego hospital with “significant but non-life-threatening injuries,” the city said.

A hospital spokesperson said he could not provide the man’s exact condition.

The attack happened about 100 yards from the relatively new Del Mar Lifeguard headquarters on 17th Street, the city said. Lifeguards on duty closed part of Del Mar Beach to swimmers and surfers a mile north and south of the facility until 9 a.m. Monday, the city said.

The city’s lifeguards have jurisdiction over 2.5 miles of coastline.

Torrey Pines State Beach, south of Del Mar, remained open, according to its website and phone line. The closest beach to the city of San Diego, Blacks Beach, isolated but popular with surfers, was more than 5 miles from the attack and remained open, a city lifeguard official said.

The incident occurred under relatively normal conditions for early June, including 3-foot waves and a water temperature of 64 degrees, still wetsuit-worthy, according to information from the National Data Buoy Center .

The attack, in seasonally cool, cloudy weather, took place as coastal San Diego County braces for an annual onslaught of tourists, largely part of a traditional exodus of Arizona and its hellish summer heat.

Research published in April in the journal Frontiers of Marine Science found that juvenile white sharks tend to spend time closer to shore in spring and summer and may base their movements on “micro-scale” changes in their habitat, including water temperature.

A shark attack in Del Mar on Sunday led to the closure of beaches in the area.NBCSan Diego

It was unclear what type of shark was involved in Sunday morning’s attack.

The Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File says there were two unprovoked shark attacks in California last year, including one fatality.

The number of attacks is far lower than Florida’s 16, which accounted for 44 percent of such unprovoked incidents nationwide last year and about a quarter of those worldwide, according to the filing.

With 20 unprovoked attacks recorded since 1926, San Diego County, which includes Del Mar, leads California counties in such incidents, according to filing data.

The predominant activity of those involved in unprovoked attacks is board sports, including surfing and bodyboarding, according to the filing.

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