Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Surfer faced a great white shark

A 43-year-old surfer survived a great white shark attack today with only minimal wounds after the predator bit through his surfboard and dragged its prey undersea momentarily.

The surfer, a Guerneville resident, was attacked around 11:50 a.m. while surfing with some friends off Dillon Beach in northwest Marin County, according to Marin County fire Capt. Rick Wonneberger.

``He is very lucky to be alive,` Wonneberger said.

The surfer was paddling facedown when he felt a surge of water and then a bite in his right hip and thigh, the fire captain said. The shark dragged him underneath the waves to a depth of 15 feet before releasing him, Wonneberger said.

A friend who was surfing 10 feet away from the victim said it was a great white shark, common to the area, measuring between 12 and 15 feet.

Rescuers treated and released the surfer at the scene because his wounds were superficial, Wonneberger said. Only the surfboard's bottom had bite marks in it. The shark's teeth must have penetrated the surfboard to reach the surfer, the captain said.


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