Surfer severely injured in shark attack near Bodega Bay, beach closed for swimming as precaution

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ByLuz Pena via KGO logo
Monday, October 4, 2021
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In a matter of seconds, a 9 a.m. Sunday surf near Bodega Bay turned into an unexpected fight with a shark

BODEGA BAY, Calif. (KGO) -- In a matter of seconds, a 9 a.m. Sunday surf near Bodega Bay turned into an unexpected fight with a shark

"I saw the tail fin of a shark, they were kind of going down into the water," said Jared Davis a surfer and Sebastopol resident.

Davis was in the water about 15 yards from the attack. He says the victim is a regular surfer named Eric.

"He was yelling. He was saying, 'shark,' he was saying out, he was saying how, and the two of us kind of paddled to shore and he had kind of caught up to me and I saw his leg. It looks like he had a red stripe on his wetsuit," said Davis.

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That red strip was blood. Close to 12 surfers rushed out of the water to help Eric as he struggled to move his injured leg.

"And first thing we did was use a surf leash to apply a tourniquet. We did that with two separate surf leashes tied them as tight as we could," said Davis.

Bodega Bay paramedics, Jonathan Bauer and Timothy Saluzzo arrived on scene to render aid. They say the quick response by the group of surfers was crucial.

"Based on the care he got prior to arrival I think it really helped to save his leg," said Saluzzo.

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"The top of the leg was not as bad but once we kind of rolled over and looked at the back side there was a pretty good laceration," said Saluzzo.

Eric described to the paramedics his struggle with the shark, "He said he got it in the eye and so I'm not sure if he punched it or if he was grabbing it," said Bauer.

Surfers here are aware of this danger. The waters here in Bodega Bay are part of what is known as the "Red Triangle" and are where there is a high concentration of Great White Sharks.

Surfer Jeff Berlin said todays attacked reminded him of the dangers in the water, "Trying to make peace with the fact they are out there all the time and we share the water with them."

For the next two days Salmon Creek Beach will be closed for swimming.

The surfer was transported to the hospital and is expected to survive.

Eric's friends started a GoFundMe to help with medical expenses. You can make a donation here.