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By Jake Howard
On Saturday afternoon at about 6 p.m., a woman was bit by a shark while swimming at San Onofre. A small group was in the water at Church in front of the Camp Pendleton campground when a woman, believed to be in her mid 30s, was struck.
“At first I wasn’t sure what was happening when I saw a group of people helping this woman in through the surf. I heard ‘shark’ and just started running out to help,” said San Clemente’s Hunter Robinson, who was on the beach with a group of friends getting ready to go surf when the incident occurred. “It was low tide and she was probably in the worst place possible place. We put her on a surfboard and tried to keep it really low to the ground in case she fell off. A friend of mine became an EMT in January, so we applied a tourniquet to her hip to try and slow the bleeding down. She said she was having trouble breathing.”
On the beach, rescuers were met by lifeguard personnel. They did the best to control the bleeding and treat the victim for signs of shock.
“We laid her down, kept the tourniquet tight and used some towels to cover the wound,” continued Robinson.
She was then airlifted to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla for further treatment.
“I heard her vital signs here stable when she was loaded into the helicopter, but I haven’t heard how she’s doing today. I really hope she made it,” Robinson said.
Subsequently, State Park authorities closed surrounding waters for 72 hours. It remains unclear the size and species of shark responsible for the bite, but in recent weeks there have been numerous Great White shark sightings, including two different incidents where a six- to eight-foot Great White breeched at nearby Trestles.
The condition and identity of the victim has not been released at this time.