Eric Tarantino was bitten on the neck by a shark while surfing in Califormia
Eric Tarantino, 27, was surfing with friends Saturday morning, 29 October 2011, at Marina State Beach in Monterey County, California, US, when a 9-foot shark bit him on the neck and right forearm. The shark also left teeth marks on his surfboard. The attack occurred just after 7am.
Tarantino was airlifted to the Regional Medical Center of San Jose.
A witness was quoted as saying: “It was still twilight and Eric and a friend were the first two out there. Within about 10 minutes we saw both of them turn around and start paddling in quickly, and a lot of us who surf here consistently realized right away they must have seen a shark.”
His friend was who was with Eric in the water was quoted as saying: “Eric had paddled a little bit deeper than me, onto the peak. I went up over the top of the wave and as I was coming down I could hear him yelling ‘Shark! Shark!’ And at that point we turned around and started paddling in as fast as we could. Luckily, a few minutes later a set came in and we were able to catch it and ride in on our stomachs.”
He said he turned around and saw Tarantino four feet away. His arm was bleeding badly and the water around him was red with blood.
He helped Tarantino ashore.
“We got to the shore, and there were a couple of guys walking on the beach with their boards and I asked them to call 911.”
They used beach towels to make a tourniquet on his arm and to staunch the bleeding from his neck.
Paramedics arrived about eight minutes later, witnesses said, and treated Tarantino before transporting him to Marina Municipal Airport. From there, he was airlifted to San Jose.
A witness in the parking lot said: “The gash to the top of Eric’s forearm was probably 2 inches long. The two gashes on the wrist area were about 4 to 6 inches. The injury to his neck was 2 inches, but fairly deep. But he was conscious and responsive when people were talking to him and his colour looked good.”
The bite narrowly missed Tarantino’s jugular vein and carotid artery, a hospital spokesperson said.
It was not reported what species of shark it was.