An unidentified swimmer off the California coast is in intensive care after suffering serious injuries Wednesday when he was attacked by a shark in an incident caught on camera.
The swimmer, who is a regular at Lovers Point Beach in the town of Pacific Grove, was about 150 yards from shore when the shark lunged at him.
“The adult swimmer sustained significant injuries from the shark bite,” the Pacific Grove Police Department said in a statement.
Aimee Johns and Paul Bandy were paddling near the scene and rushed over to see what was going on.
“We could hear someone saying ‘Help, help, help’ and then splashing the water,” Johns told TODAY.
“As soon as we got close to him, we could tell he had serious lacerations to his arm and leg,” Bandy said.
Surfer Heath Braddock, who was working with children nearby, also heard the swimmer’s screams.
“So I grabbed a couple of boards and pulled out two boards. As I got closer, I saw some sort of pool of blood. It was probably the size of a table or a car,” Braddock said.
The video shows Johns, Bandy and Braddock approaching the swimmer, placing him on the board and rushing him back to shore.
“His leg was almost severed,” Johns said.
“Badly hurt. All the way to the bone,” Bandy said.
Bandy is a cop and Johns is a nurse, which helped expedite the victim’s treatment. In addition to the leg injuries, the man sustained injuries to his torso and arm.
“Paul was calling, ‘Turnstile, turnstile.’ So people on the coast already knew ahead of time that they had things they could use,” Johns said. “And then people immediately jumped. There was a doctor who was there, a nurse, myself and a few other passersby (who) really helped a lot.”
The beach will remain closed until Saturday and authorities were unable to find the shark, despite efforts to locate it.
“In an abundance of caution, the Monterey Fire Department, with the assistance of the Seaside Fire Department, deployed a drone to conduct an aerial search of the area for the shark. At the time of this release, there have been no additional sightings,” police said in their statement.
Shark attacks are not common at Lovers Point Beach. Only one other incident has been reported, which was a fatal encounter in 1952, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Wednesday’s attack also marked the 16th attack in Monterey County since 1950 and the 203rd in the state of California in the same time period.
A surfer was also killed in an apparent shark attack in Morro Bay, California, last December.Related: