New drone video shows great white shark swimming in same area as weekend surfer attack

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Monday, June 28, 2021
New drone video shows great white shark in same area as attack
Drone footage shows what is believed to be a great white shark swimming off Gray Whale Cove State Beach, where a shark attack happened Saturday.

SAN MATEO COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- A man is recovering after surviving a great white shark attack. It happened Saturday while he was surfing off the coast of Gray Whale Cove State Beach in San Mateo County.

Other surfers say they have proof great whites are in our coastal waters.

"It's pretty gnarly," said Benjamin Holmes from Half Moon Bay.

Holmes showed us drone footage he shot on June 11 of what he believes is a great white shark swimming off Gray Whale Cove State Beach, the same place as Saturday's attack.

"The shark was swimming close to shore, we stopped shooting and left to warn people on the beach to stay away," Holmes said.

Thomas Masotta was fishing at Gray Whale Cove, when he heard a man in the surf calling for help.

"He yelled, 'Hey guy!' When he saw that I saw him, he collapsed to the ground," said Masotta.

The San Mateo County Fire Department said the 39-year-old man, who was likely surfing, was attacked by a young great white shark about six to eight feet long.

VIDEO: Man bitten by great white shark in Pacifca leaves hospital

Authorities say a 39 year-old man has been released from the hospital after officials say he was attacked by a great white shark. First responders say It happened off the San Mateo County Coast, and the bite was severe.

"The surfer did get a look at the shark to confirm it was a great white," said San Mateo County Fire Battalion Chief Brian Ham.

"There was a lot of blood running down his leg," Masotta said.

Thomas called 911 and jumped into action, using the straps on his backpack to stop the bleeding on the victims upper right leg.

"Luckily, the straps detach, I was able to un-clip and use them as a tourniquet," said Masotta.

Thomas used his cell phone to capture the moment first responders arrived and starting treating the victim before being taken to the hospital.

"He lost about a pint of blood," San Mateo County Fire District Battalion Chief Brian Ham said.

First responders say that man was lucky. Experts say shark attacks are rare but serious events, and added that sharks are usually more curious than hungry.

"There's lots of footage of sharks coming close to surfers and paddle boarders. They're curious creatures, they don't have to bite you to cut you with their teeth," said Sean Van Sommeran from Pelagic Shark Research Foundation.

Van Sommeran says if you see a shark, swim away and get out of the water.

But many surfers near Pacifica aren't scared even after Saturday's attack.

"They don't want to eat you, you're basically a piece of beef jerky still in the wrapper," said surfing instructor James Walthen.

The ocean remains off limits at Gray Whale Cove. Officials said the victim has been released from the hospital.